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Vol. VII February, 1921 No. 1 

Board of Editors 

William A. Oldfather 
George T. Flom Stuart P. Sherman 

Published by the University of Illinois 

Under the Auspices of the Graduate School 

copywght, i92i 
By the University of Illinois 

Sir Robert Howard's Comedy 

Edited with Introduction and Notes 



The University of Illinois 




Chapter I. Howard: Man and Statesman 9 

Chapter II. Howard: Poet, Dramatist, and Historian 16 

Chapter III. "The Committee" and "Teague": History and Criti- 
cism 39 






The editing of Sir Robert Howard's comedy, "The Committee,'" com- 
plete as it now stands with Introduction and Notes, was undertaken and 
the results submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the 
degree of Master in Arts in English in the Graduate School of the Univer- 
sity of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 1917. 

Selection of this particular play and author was prompted by several 
factors. Sir Robert Howard himself seems to me admirably representa- 
tive of that very considerable number of minor Restoration dramatists 
who, while in no sense writers "of all time," yet were in a way more repre- 
sentative of their own times than many of their more famous contem- 
poraries. Here we have, personified, the politician to whom dabbling in 
literature was as much a part of the day's work as was the crafty manipu- 
lation of weighty affairs of state for his King. True, as poets and drama- 
tists they seldom shine — nor does Howard, as one of them; men of their 
literary caliber could hardly claim more than a passing mention in an age 
which gave us Dryden and his fellow immortals. But they are highly 
significant of the wide and active interest in the drama which marked their 
time — a period when practically everyone of prominence tried his hand at 
playwriting. And Sir Robert Howard, both more prominent and more 
gifted than many another of this group, not only wrote very fair plays but 
also, through his relations with Dryden, gained a prominence in the world 
of letters which, from the point of view of the student, at least, has lasted 
down to the present day. As a type of literary dilettante, then, and as one 
of the principals in the famous Dryden-Howard controversy. Sir Robert 
stands out as a writer well worth the detailed consideration here accorded 

As to "The Committee," there is a liveness, a rollicking good humor 
about the play itself which makes it eminently readable even today — a 
distinction which sets it apart from most of the other "minor" plays 
of Howard's time. And a second, even more important reason for the 
selection of this play for treatment lies in the character of "Teague" — not 
only one of the most popular and famous comedy acting characters on the 
English stage for many years, but in all probability the prototype and in a 
way the fore-runner of the comic Irishman of the stage today. "The 
Committee" was not the best of Howard's plays nor the most important 
in a strictly literary sense; but it was the only one which gained even a 
measure of lasting popularity and it appealed to me as far more represen- 
tative of the literary-political school of writers of Howard's time than any 
of his other works. 

It should be noted that this study of Howard and "The Committee" does 
not pretend to be exhaustive nor even in a strictly academic sense com- 


plete. Some important references and authorities were not readily 
accessible (notably the Anecdotes of the Howard Family) and circum- 
stances were such that such sources could be referred to only indirectly. 
Likewise and for the same reasons the collation of texts was limited to the 
editions available. 

I should like to express my sincere appreciation of the careful guidance 
and valuable counsel of Dr. Harold N. Hillebrand of the University of 
Illinois, under whose direction this work was undertaken and completed. 
To Dr. Hillebrand belongs the credit both for my selection of the subject 
discussed and, in large part, for the method of treatment followed. 

Los Angeles, California Carryl Nelson Thurber 

October 17, 192L 

Sir Robert Howard's Comedy 



Howard: Man and Statesman 

Sir Robert Howard, born in 1626, was the sixth son of Thomas Howard, 
first earl of Berkshire, by Elizabeth, daughter of William Cecil, Lord 
Burghley, afterwards second earl of Exeter.^ About Howard's early life 
there is available practically no information further than that he was 
educated at Magdalene College, whether Oxford or Cambridge seems 
somewhat uncertain.^ It is an illuminating commentary upon Sir Robert's 
own activities, however, to note that he was one of those Berkshire Howards 
who succeeded admirably in producing distinguished statesmen, politicians, 
and soldiers who were almost equally well known as second-rate poets and 
dramatists.^ It may be added here that Sir Robert himself ran remarkably 
true to form in both respects. 

At the outbreak of the Civil Wars, Howard, always a staunch supporter 
of Charles I,* joined the Royalist forces, with whom his conduct as a soldier 
would seem to have merited the comment that he "distinguished himself 
by his loyalty and courage."* It was at this time — in 1644, to be exact — 
that he rescued Lord Wilmot from the hands of the Parliamentarians, in 
the battle of Cropredy gidge; for this deed of valor he was knighted on 
the field near Newbury, on June 29 of that year. His royalist activities, 
however, led to his imprisonment in Windsor Castle during the Common- 
wealth, and it was not until the Restoration that his fortunes began to 

* Except where otherwise noted, the facts concerning the life of Sir Robert Howard are 
taken from the article by A. H. Bullen in the Dictionary of National Biography (ed. 1909) vol. 
X, pp. 59-61. 

*Wood [Athenae Oxonienses (ed. Philip Bliss, London, 1813) vol. IV, p. 594] notes that 
Howard was "for a time of Magdalene College," but that he "occurs not matriculated." The 
probable date of Howard's matriculation Wood gives as 1641. In Foster's Alumni Oxonienses 
(Oxford, 1891) vol. II, p. 753, Howard is listed as of Magdalene College. But Allibone's Dic- 
tionary of Authors and Cole's Athenae Cantahrigienses mention Howard as a student at 
Magdalene College, Cambridge. 

^ For instance, two of Sir Robert's own brothers, Edward and James Howard, were dram- 
atists of a sort, although their productions were decidedly mediocre in quality. 

* J. Nichols ^ 5e/ec/ Collection of Poems &c. (London, 1742) vol. I, p. 147, note. Sir 
Robert Howard is spoken of as "a zealous royalist." 

* George Ellis Specimens of the Early English Poets (London, 1803) vol. Ill, p. 304, 


In 1661 Howq|d was returned to Parliament from Stockbridge, Hamp- 
shire, and, further, was rewarded by Charles II, for his devotion to the 
latter's cause, by being made Knight of the Bath and by being appointed 
Secretary to the Commissioners of the Treasury. The real beginning of his 
career as a prominent statesman came when, in 1677, as an additional mark 
of the royal favor, he was appointed Auditor of the Exchequer, a position 
which he held up to the time of his death. This post, in addition to the 
lucrative positions already held by him,*^ enabled him to purchase, in 
1680, the famous Ashstead estate, in Surrey, and in 1684 to build there 
the elaborate mansion which, with its staircase by Verrio and its portrait of 
Sir Robert by Sir Godfrey Kneller, was viewed appreciatively by Evelyn.'' 
A hostile critic describes Howard as having been "one of King Charles's 
creatures, whom he advanced on account of his faithful services in cajoling 
the Parliament for money. "^ Since there seems to have been some ground 
for assigning Sir Robert's advancement to this cause,® despite the fact 
that he was a staunch Whig, it may be that his steady continuance in 
the good graces of the court was a sort of quid pro quo. 

From 1677 on Sir Robert led a varied and active public life. On Feb- 
ruary 4, 1678, he was returned M. P. for Castle Rising, in Norfolk, and from 
then on until June, 1698, he was returned from the same constituency every 
year except 1685. It was in 1678, too, according to Evelyn,^" that he 
impeached Sir William Penn, in the House of Lords, for breaking bulk and 
taking away rich goods out of the East India prizes formerly taken by the 
earl of Sandwich. 

It was of cou-se inevitable that one in Sir Robert's position should 
become the target for hostile criticism; but it is not until his appointment, 
on February 13, 1688, to the Privy Council that we begin to find such 
criticism directed against him in his public capacity. It is said that at that 
time he became "a violent persecutor of the Non-jurors, and disclaimed 
all mianner of conversation and intercourse with any of that character";" 

' See Pepys' Diary (ed. Wheatlej', London, 1905) Dec. 8, 1666: Howard, "who is one of 
the King's servants, at least has a great office, and has got, they say, 20,000 since the King has 
come in." 

^ Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn (ed. Wm. Bray, London, 1859) May 10, 1684. 

* Theophilus Gibber The Lives of the Poels of Great Britain and Irclatid-, (London, 1753) 
vol. Ill, p. 57. 

* Note this from Pepys' Diary, Feb. 14, 1668: "The House is in a most broken condition; 
nobody adhering to anything, but reviling and finding fault: and now quite mad at the Un- 
dertakers, as they are commonly called, Littleton, Lord Vaughan, Sir R. Howard, and others 
that are brought over to the Court, and did undertake to get the King money; but they de- 
spise, and will not hear, them in the House." 

1" Diary, April 9, 1678. 

" Theophilus Cibber The Lives of the Poets &c., vol. Ill, pp. 57-58. 


and he was, in this regard, "so strong an advocate for the Revolution" that 
he, "by his obstinacy and pride, made many enemies. "'^ This last com- 
ment is of particular interest, since, as will later be shown, it was precisely 
these characteristics of obstinacy and pride which did most to establish 
for Howard a rather unenviable reputation in private life. 

In June, 1689, Sir Robert succeeded, in spite of vigorous Tory antago- 
nism, in reopening the famous case against Oatcs^^ and in having the sentence 
against the latter declared illegal; a bill annulling this sentence was brought 
in without any opposition. He was less successful, however, when, in 
January, 1690, he and Sachcverell added a clause to the Whig bill for 
restoring the charters surrendered during the late reign. After a stormy 
session Parliament repudiated the clause and had it torn from the parch- 
ment containing the bill. 

On July 10, 1690, Howard was deputed as one of the "Commissioners 
of the Fleet" ji" on July 29 of the same year he was appointed "to command 
all and singular the regiments and troops of militia horse which are or 
shall be drawn together under the command of John, Earl of Marlborough," 
throughout England and Wales. ^^ Under date of August 9 of this year 
Luttrell mentions "a great rendezvouse of the militia troups of horse of 
the adjacent counties, ... to thenumber of 22 troops of horse, commanded 
by Sir Robert Howard, well mounted and equipt," and adds that on this 
occasion the Queen, who reviewed the troops, thanked them and their 
noble leader for their "readiness and good affection to her service. "^^ 
This evidence, together with the fact that, on September 24, 1692, the 
Queen Sir Robert's home in Surrey,^^ would indicate that the latter 
remained throughout his life successful in cultivating the royal favor. 

The last item of information available regarding Howard's active life 
is of a more private nature. On February 26, 1693, "Sir Robert Howard, 
auditor of the exchequer, (aged near 70), .... married young Mrs. [Anna- 
belle] Dives, maid of honour to the princesse, aged about 18. "^^ Howard had 
already been married at least twice, very possibly three times. On Febru- 

" J. Nichols A Select Collection of Poems, vol. I, p. 147, note. 

" This Gates case concerns the trial etc. of Titus Gates, instigator of the Popish Plot of 
1678, accusing Papists of conspiring to assassinate Charles II. See Encyclopedia Britannica, 
eleventh edition, vol. XIX, pp. 938-939. 

" Narcissus Luttrell A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs, from September 1678 to 
April 1714 (Gxford, 1857) vol. II, p. 74. 

15 Public Records, Home Office, Military Entry Book, II, ff. 142-143. This and the citation 
from Luttrell immediately following it are taken from the latter's Brief Historical Relation 
vol. II, pp. 88-89. 

'« Luttrell Brief Relation vol. II, p. 574. 

" Ibid., p. 577. 

" Luttrell Brief Relation vol. Ill, p. 45. 


ary 1, 1646, he married Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Kingsmill, of Mal- 
shanger. Church Oakley, Hants. His second wife, whom he married on 
August 10, 1665, at Wotton Basset, was Lady Honora O'Brien, daughter 
of the Earl of Thomond and widow of Sir Francis Inglefield. As to the 
possibility of Sir Robert having married four times in all, instead of three, 
the records in this matter seem to be confused. If he did so, the marriage 
very probably took place between that with Lady O'Brien, in 1665, and 
that with Annabelle Dives, in 1693 (the latter being, in any event, his last 
marriage, as his bride in this instance survived him). It is also probable 
that those who refer to a third^^ — or to another^° marriage have in mind 
Howard's well-known affair with the actress, Mrs. Uphill, of whom as an 
actress there is little trace.^^ 

Sir Robert Howard died on September 3, 1698, "aged near 80,"" 
and, as Ward puts it, having "kept himself as prominent as he could in 
life, was buried in Westminster Abbey. "^^ 

While our interest in Sir Robert Howard centers around his activities 
as a poet and dramatist, it will be well to review briefly some of the general 
criticism, both contemporary and more recent, which throws light upon 
him as an individual. 

As a statesman Howard was both prominent and successful, even if not 
really brilliant. Macaulay's estimate of him as one who "had in parlia- 

" The Dictionary of National Biography vol. X, pp. 59-61, credits Sir Robert with having 
married four times, but has nothing to offer as to who his third wife was. The first, second, 
and fourth wives are given as I have listed them above. I can find no evidence to prove that 
Howard really married Mrs. Uphill. True, Evelyn, in his Diary, October 18, 1666, speaks of 
"foul and indecent women being permitted to appear and act" on the stage, with the result 
that "several took these women as their misses, or in some cases, their wives. Witness — [Sir 
Robert Howard is named, among others] — who fell into their snares, to the reproach of their 
noble families and ruin of both body and soul." Not only is this no evidence of a marriage, 
however, but there is also to be considered the contrary evidence in the statement appearing 
in a scurrilous pamphlet of the times (A Seasonable Argument to persuade all the Grand Juries 
in England to petition for a new Parliament, 1677) that (referring to Howard) "Many other 
places and boons he has had, but his w — Uphill spends all, and now refuses to marry him." 
(The italics are mine.) 

*" Tellenbach {Rob. Howard's Comedy "The Committee" and "Teague," an Irish Stage- 
Type; Ph. D. Thesis, University of Berne; Zurich, 1913; p. 6) places Mrs. Uphill as Howard's 
first wife. Frankly, in view of the evidence in Note 19, above, I see no grounds for this claim. 

^' As further evidence regarding the period of Howard's relations with Mrs. Uphill, how- 
ever, it may be noted that Downes [Roscius Anglicanus (London, 1879) p. 11) mentions Mrs. 
Uphill as having come to the Company [the King's Company] after they had begun in Drury 
Lane; this would mean no earlier than 1660, at best; as it is unlikely that Howard was attracted 
to her before she began her stage career, there is still less reason to think that she was his first 

" Luttrell Brief Relation (Sept. 6, 1698) vol. IV, p. 423. 

" Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. VIII, chap. 1, p. 23, note. 


ment the weight which a staunch party man, of ample fortune, of illustrious 
name, of ready utterance, and of resolute spirit, can scarcely fail to pos- 
sess,"^^ is more judicious, if more restrained, than that of Langbaine, who 
writes, of Howard: "This ingenious person is equally conspicuous for the 
lustre of his birth, and the excellence of his parts. "^* 

As an individual, however, Howard seems to have been possessed of 
rather unpleasant personal characteristics — notably pride, obstinacy, and a 
marked tendency toward pretentiousness — which kept him in hot water a 
good bit of the time;unfortunately, too, it is largely because of the attacks 
made upon him, instigated primarily because of the characteristics men- 
tioned, that we know him today. I refer particularly to the Dryden- 
Howard controversy over dramatic poetry, which will be discussed in a 
later chapter; we may devote some time here, however, to two somewhat 
similar episodes in Sir Robert's life. 

In the first place, one of the personages angered by the pretentiousness 
of Howard was George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. In the latter's 
play. The Rehearsal, in the first edition (1663-4), The Poet was called Bil- 
boa, "by which name Sir Robert Howard was the person pointed at," 
although the attack was soon shifted from Howard to Davenant, and later 
still, when Dryden succeeded Davenant as Poet Laureate, "this moved the 
Duke to change the name of the hero from Bilboa to Bays, directly levelling 
his bolt at Mr. Dryden. "2« This attack, then, was of little moment. Not 
so Shadwell's famous burlesque satire of Sir Robert, in The Sullen Lovers, 
or, as Pepys knew it, The Curious I m pertinents}'' Shadwell was "so angry 
with the knight for his supercilious and domineering manner of behaving, 
that he points him out under the name of Sir Positive At-aH";^^ and while 
the play itself is of no great merit,^'-' the fun poked at Howard seems to 

** History of England (ed. Cheyney, 1898) vol. VI, p. 90. 

^ An Account of the English Dramatic Poets (Oxford, 1691) p. 305. 

» Betterton The History of the English Stage &c. (London 1741) p. 8. 

See also Theophilus Gibber's Lives of the Poets vol. Ill, p. 58. 

The Key to The Rehearsal expresses doubt as to whether the Duke ever planned to satirize 
Howard, pointing out that many think his original plan was to mock Davenant. 

" The Sullen Lovers (published 1668) has The Curious Impertinents as an alternative title. 

'* Theophilus Gibber Lives of the Poets vol. Ill, p. 58. 

" Pepys (Diary May 4, 1668) speaks of "The Impertinents" as "but a very contemptible 
play, though there are many little witty expressions in it," adding, (May 5, 1668) "by Sir 
Positive At-all, I understand, is meant Sir Robert Howard." Saintsbury, in his introduction 
to Shadwell's Works, (Mermaid Series, introd., p. 3), praises "the lively Jonsonian humors 
of Sir Positive At-all and his fellows," adding that "although Sir Positive's eccentricities are, 
after Shadwell's fashion, too much multiplied and insisted upon, he is really a comic char- 


have aroused a good deal of merriment. As there is other evidence to 
show that Shadwell's satirization was uncomfortably realistic, let us 
examine the play for a moment. 

In the dramatis personae we find included the character of "Sir Positive 
At-all, a foolish knight, that pretends to understand everything in the 
world, and will suffer no man to understand anything in his company; 
so foolishly positive, that he will never be convinced of an error, though 
never so gross." This characterization is emphasized throughout the play; no 
matter what the subject under discussion— music, dancing, painting, — Sir 
Positive vaunts his prowess and asserts that he is a master in all fields, 
usually dismissing the matter with his pet expression, "I have considered 
it thoroughly." As an illustration of the extent to which Shadwell carried 
his treatment of Sir Robert, we may cite the amusing bit in Act III, 
Scene 1 ; the characters have been speaking of the game of trap-ball, 
whereupon Sir Positive breaks in with, "Why, I was so eminent at it when 
I was a school-boy, that I was called Trap Positive all over the school," a 
hit, by the way, which appears to have been founded on fact.^" 

There are two other points about The Sullen Lovers which are worthy 
of passing attention. First, among the characters is Lady Vain, a courte- 
zan, "which the wits then understood to be the mistress of Sir Robert 
Howard, whom he afterwards thought proper to marry. "^^ The other 
point is, for our purpose, of more moment; it is that, as Ward has it, 
"though universality seems to have been 'Sir Positive At-all's' foible, it 
was as a dramatic writer he above all sought to play a part in the world 
of letters."^^ Sir Positive himself (Act III, Scene 1) boasts thus: "Nay 
then, cousin, I am an ass, an idiot, a blockhead, and a rascal, if I don't 
understand dramatic poetry of all things in the world. Why, this is the 
only thing I am esteemed for in England"; and again, (Act V, Scene 1), 
when baited by Ninny and Woodcock, he breaks out with: "This single 
head of mine shall be the balance of Christendom; and by the strength of 
this I'll undermine all commonwealths, destroy all monarchies, and write 
heroic plays." While Howard's merits as a dramatist are to be discussed 
later on, these comments are included here to show that his reputation as a 
boaster and pretender was due, in large part, to his insistence upon his own 
merits as a poet and playwright. 

'» Pepys' Diary (May 8, 1668): "But Lord! to see how this play of Sir Positive At-all, in 
abuse of Sir Robert Howard, do take, all the Duke's and everybody's talk being of that, and 
telling more stories of him, of the like nature, that it is now the town and country talk, and, 
they say, is most exactly true. The Duke of York himself said that of his playing at trap-ball 
is true, and told several other stories of him." 

" Theophilus Gibber Lives of the Poets vol. Ill, p. 58. The reference is to Mrs. Uphill, the 
actress. As to the question of Howard's marriage to her, see ante, p. 12. 

^^ A History of English Dramatic Literature (London, 1899) vol. Ill, p. 393. 


We may conclude, then, that Shadwell's attack, while no doubt some- 
what overdone, had considerable justification, and that Sir Robert, what- 
ever his merits in other respects, was, as a man, "a gentleman pretending 
to all manner of arts and sciences, — not ill-natured, but insufiferably boast- 
ing."^' As diplomat, jurist, and political henchman, zealous and loyal 
to the royal interests, successful if not brilliant, he was, as we have seen, 
persona grata at court throughout most of his life; furthermore, while 
perhaps arrogant and unduly vainglorious, he nevertheless was generous, 
kindly, and in the main unselfish. And by us it must be recognized that, 
whatever his personal merits or defects, in the political and social life of 
his times Sir Robert Howard was distinctly a personage. 

" Evelyn Diary (February 16, 1685). The same writer again refers to Howard (June 16, 
1683) as "Sir Robert Howard, (that universal pretender)." 

Howard: Poet, Dramatist, and Historian 

That a man of Howard's prominence, living in England at the time of 
the Restoration, should dabble in literature was practically inevitable; 
it was equally inevitable, in the light of his personal characteristics as we 
know them, that he should greatly overestimate his own worth as an 
author, and that the very pretentiousness and prideful obstinacy which 
marred his political career should militate against him far more disastrously 
in a field in which, to begin with, he was hopelessly outclassed, and for the 
activities of which he possessed only the most ordinary qualifications. 

It is a matter of regret, then, that Howard was not content to rest 
upon his well-earned laurels as a statesman and diplomat; for a careful 
examination of his literary productions both for themselves and in relation 
to the available criticism thereon, can but lead one, I think, to this con- 
clusion: that despite the very considerable popularity, during his own 
time, of at least two of his plays, there is in his work so little intrinsic merit 
as to bar him from serious consideration. On the other hand, notwith- 
standing the somewhat overharsh criticism of certain later writers — notably 
Theophilus Gibber and Sir Walter Scott — Sir Robert was by no means a 
negligible factor in the literary history of his own day. For himself, 
truly was he one of "the noble family of Howard" who "were distinguished 
for dramatic productions, in which were to be found plot's romantic and 
absurd, and characters, not drawn from nature, but wild and ungoverned 
fancy,"^ and who likewise, adds Macaulay, "enjoyed, in that age, the unen- 
viable distinction of being wonderfully fertile of bad rhymers. The poetry 
of the Berkshire Howards was the jest of three generations of satirists. 
The mirth began with the first representation of The Rehearsal [see ante, 
p. 13] and continued down to the last edition of the Dunciad."^ As it devel- 
oped, however, the real basis of Howard's literary reputation, and the 
justification of his being granted a position of any importance in the world 
of letters, lay not in his own merits but in the fact that he was brother-in- 
law to Dryden, and, even more, in his famous controversy with the latter 
over the respective merits of blank and rhymed verse for serious plays, a 
controversy which aroused a storm of discussion at the time, and to which 

* Thomas'Da.vies Dramatic Miscellanies (London, 1785) vol. Ill, p. 307. 
^ History of England, vol. VI, pp. 89-90. The attack in the Dunciad was levelled, not at 
Sir Robert, but at his brother, Edward Howard, in the couplet (First Book) : 

"And highborn Howard; more majestic sire, 

With Fool of Quality completes the quire." 



we of the present day owe a debt of gratitude, in that it was largely respon- 
sible for the production of Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy. 

Our present purpose being, then, to arrive at a reasonably correct 
estimate of Howard's merits as an author, it will be best to examine with 
some care his poetry and his plays, and to discuss the Dryden-Howard 
controversy in detail. As to the remaining portion of his works, the his- 
tories, it will not, I think, be necessary to give them any further attention; 
while they are of some interest as reflecting his reaction to past events in 
the light of his own times, they seem not to have attracted, either then or 
later, anything more than the barest notice. As literature they are prac- 
tically negligible. We may dismiss them, then, and pass on to Howard's 
more important literary contributions. 

The poetry of Sir Robert Howard is neither extensive in quantity nor 
in any way unusual in quality. His principal contribution of this sort is 
the volume of collected verse published by Herringman in 1660, containing 
(1) A Panegyrick to the King; (2) Songs and Sonnets; (3) The Blind Lady, 
a Comedy; (4) The Fourth Book of Virgil; (5) Statins his Achilleis, with 
Annotations ; and (6) A Panegyrick to Generall Monck. Howard has pre- 
fixed to this collection the conventional apology To the Reader, in which 
he urges that he himself "had not stock of confidence enough to show 
these things privately to many friends, much less to be furnished with 
enough, to make them public to all indifferent persons, had not the desire 
of the Book-seller [Herringman] prevailed" upon him to sanction their 
publication. We also learn that most of the verses had been written some 
time before. "For the severall subjects which I here make one bundle, there 
is not any of them that have not layn by me these many years (two or three 
copies of verses only excepted)," the Panegyrick to the King, in particular, 
having been "written when the King deserved the Praise as much as now, 
but separated farther from the Power, which was about three years since, 
when I was a Prisoner in Windsor Castle." 

This preface, then, is of some historical interest, although its tone 
savors a little of that mock humility, of that self-depreciation, not quite 
convincing as to its sincerity, which was characteristic of Howard. 

There is another sort of preface to the 1660 collection which merits 
even closer attention. This is a set of verses "To my honored Friend, Sir 
Robert Howard, on his Excellent Poems," by "John Driden." Dryden pays 
sincere tribute to the man who had been and still was his patron and friend, 
and who was soon to be his brother-in-law.^ A few excerpts from the 
verses in question will suffice to show their nature. 

• Dryden married Lady Elizabeth Howard December 1, 1663. For a fxill discussion of the 
relations of Howard and Dryden see the latter part of this chapter, where the Dryden-Howard. 
controversy is discussed. 


And again, 

And finally, 

So in your verse a native sweetness dwells, 
Which shames composure, and its art excells.* 

— as when mighty rivers gently creep, 
Their even calmness does suppose them deep. 
Such is your Muse; no metaphor swelled high 

With dangerous boldness lifts her to the sky. 


'TIs strange each line so great a weight should bear, 

And yet no sign of toil, no sweat appear. 


But to write worthy things of worthy men 
Is the peculiar talent of your pen. 

This work, by merit first of fame secure, 

Is likewise happy in its geniture; 

For since 'tis born when Charles ascends the throne, 

It shares at once his fortune and its own. 

This last bears particular reference to the Panegyrick to the King, 
which, though written some time before, proved to be a very timely tribute 
to Charles II, since it was first published during the very first year of the 
Restoration. Indeed, it would seem, as Dryden has it, that Howard's 

Verse no lesse 

The Prophet than the Poet doth confesse. 

Dryden's tribute to Howard seems to have aroused the contempt of 
Scott to a considerable degree. "Those who may be induced" writes Scott, 
"to peruse the works of Sir Robert Howard by the high commendation 
here bestowed upon them, will have more reason to praise the gratitude of 
our author [Dryden] than the justice of his panegyric. They are productions 
of a most freezing mediocrity."^ The then existing relations between 
Dryden and Howard would account for a possibly unmerited warmth of 
praise on the part of the former; in truth, though, while the verses in this 
collection are admittedly mediocre, they seem to me to deserve nothing 
worse than neglect — surely not open contempt. 

It will hardly be necessary to present any full discussion of the indi- 
vidual poems in this collection. The two translations are good of their kind, 
the Achilleis of Statius being of special value because of the completeness 
and detail of the annotations. The songs and sonnets are conventional 
and rather poor. It is interesting to note, though, that Howard apologizes 
for this by urging, in the prefatory address, that "they were never directed 

* Composure — careful composition. It may be noted that Dryden throughout praises 
rather the dignity and general worth of the verses than their artistic beauty. 
^ The Works of John Dryden (ed. Saintsbury, Edinburgh, 1882) vol. XI, p. 6. 


to any particular Beauty, which may (to the Amorous Reader at least) 
be a just excuse, if they want Perfection, to remember I wanted Passion, 
and had only my own warmth, unassisted by the influence of a Mistress.'" 
The two panegyrics are possibly a little more carefully composed, as to 
rhyme and meter, than are other of Howard's works. They are, however, 
over-fulsome in their flattery, and are marred by such platitudes as: 

To fair days, storms succeed; to storms, the fair: 
We know but what we are by what we were. 
And Man's condition's valued more or less 
By what he had, not what he does possess. 
For no extremes could ever gain a height 
From their own natures, but each other's weight.^ 

The remaining contribution included in this collection, The Blind 
Lady, may best be considered with other of Howard's plays, later on. 

Finally, we may note briefly two other poetic offerings of Sir Robert's: 
the Duel of the Stags, written in 1668, and "an excellent poem 'against the 
Fear of Death' ; which gained him a considerable degree of reputation."^ 
Each of these possesses some merit of versification and of subject matter, 
the Duel of the Stags, in particular, a political poem, being marked by 
commendable vigor of expression.^ This last poem was later satirized by 
Lord Buckhurst, in The Duel of the Crahs}^ 

As a poet, then, Sir Robert Howard was but ordinarily successful. 
His rhymes are far too often mechanical; his themes are treated conven- 
tionally, with little in their treatment to suggest originality or personality. 
He has, in short, produced no poems which entitle him to serious considera- 
tion, although there is in his work, as I have said, sufficient merit to render 
undeserved such caustic comment as that of Scott, or that of Theophilus 
Cibber, who writes: "The merit of this author seems to have been of a 
low rate, for very little is preserved concerning him, and none of his works 
are now read; nor is he ever mentioned, but when that circumstance of 
the Duke of Buckingham's intending to ridicule him. is talked of." And 
again, "had Sir Robert been a man of any parts, he had sufficient advan- 

' If we may grant the sincerity, or rather, the truth of this statement, we have further 
evidence regarding the period of Howard's relations with Mrs. Uphill; these verses he claims 
to have written, at least in considerable part, "severall years" before, but as they were pub- 
lished in 1660, it seems reasonable to assume that even up to that time he was "unassisted by 
the influence of a mistress." If such were the case, his relations with Mrs. Uphill would date 
from no earlier than 1660; and this is in accord with the other evidence already presented. 

• From the Pancgyrick to the King. Note the rh^j^e used in lines 5 and 6. Sight rhymes 
were Howard's particular weakness. 

8 Nichols A Select Collection of Poems, vol. I, p. 154, note. 

^ In the 1709 edition of The Duel of the Stags reappear the verses of Dryden wliich wer« 
originally prefixed to the 1660 collection of Howard's poems. 

^'> State Poems (1699) Part I, p. 201. 


tages from his birth and fortune to have made a figure, but the highest 
notice which he can claim in the republic of letters, is, that he was brother- 
in-law to Dry den."" ,.'.^ 

As a playwright, Howard was both more successful and more popular 
than as a poet; yet most of his plays, too, bear the stigma of mediocrity, 
partly because of faulty, somewhat amateurish workmanship, partly 
because of his innate inability to do justice to really big, tensely dramatic 
scenes. Before criticising farther, however, let us review Howard's various 
dramatic productions in some detail. 

Howard produced six plays, in all. Of these the first, The Blind Lady, 
appeared together with his poems, in the collection of 1660, as noted. 
The play is a crudely constructed, rather loosely organized comedy, in 
which the author evidently made some attempt to follow classical models, 
in the matter of observing the Unity of Time, and in having all real action 
take place off the stage, to be reported by various characters. The working 
out of the plot, however, leaves very much to be desired. The scenes 
succeed one another with bewildering rapidity — in the five acts there are 
twenty nine scenes, in all — and one is kept on the jump, from place to place, 
to such an extent that to keep adequate track of what is going on is to 
say the least difficult. 

Mironault and Phylanter, two courtiers, are in love with the Princess 
Mirramente, who at first favors neither. Mironault is traduced to his 
King by Phylanter and, while visiting the Princess, is attacked by his 
jealous rival. Escaping with two firm friends, Hyppasus and Pysander, 
Mironault takes refuge in the house of Caeca, a blind lady — representing, 
of course, Fortune, the Blind Lady. Here Pysander, a bluff, rough-and- 
ready, quick witted soldier, takes the lead and, by making love simul- 
taneously to Caeca and to her maid, Quinever, persuades them to order 
Caeca's tenants to fortify the house against Phylanter and his troops, who 
are pursuing Mironault. Meanwhile the Princess, who has fallen in love 
with Mironault in turn, hastens to Court to invoke the aid of the King to 
rescue her lover and to punish Phylanter. On the way she meets Amione, 
Mironault's sister, who is seeking to aid him, and the two girls join forces. 
The King, persuaded of Mironault's innocence of the charges against him, 
sends an army to rescue him, and, at her request, puts the Princess at the 
head of this army. Mironault and his followers, having temporarily 
repulsed Phylanter's forces, are rescued in time, and everything is brought 
to a speedy and happy conclusion. Phylanter, defeated, is repentant — 
indeed, he began to be repentant almost before he did anything to repent 

" Lives of the Poets vol. Ill, p. 58. 


of — and as he has, during the course of the action, fallen suddenly and 
deeply in love with Amione, her influence and the sympathetic kindliness 
of the Princess win for him a hardly deserved forgiveness. Finally the 
Princess admits her love for Mironault, and all is well. 

In addition to the too rapid shift of scene — as in Act III, where we 
jump from Caeca's house to Phylanter's camp, then back to the house, 
then to Phylanter's attacking position before the house — there are other 
serious defects in both plot and characterization. There are really two 
stories involved — the main plot, as above, and the comedy love affairs of 
Pysander, Caeca, and Quinever, The latter furnish some good rough fun,*^ 
but they are given altogether too much prominence. The result is that 
Mironault, the ostensible hero, is almost lost sight of during the latter part 
of the play. As a whole the plot is involved, the action irregular and too 
long drawn out, and the play unsatisfying. One feels that Mironault, who 
is well drawn at first, peters out; that Phylanter, while rather appealing in 
his recoil from his own villainy, is yet not guilty of anything very serious 
after all, and is certainly no villain; and lastly, that Phylanter's amazingly 
quick shift of affections from Miramente to Amione and the "made-to- 
order" fashion in which everything is satisfactorily adjusted are decidedly 

A word may be said here about the versification of The Blind Lady. 
Most of the play is written in rather poorblank verse, but at times — as in 
Act III, Scene 1, or in Act V, Scene 1 — some use of rhyme is made. The 
quotation of a few lines from Act III, Scene 1, will show, I think, that here, 
as elsewhere, Howard's work is unsatisfactory. 

To be still subject to calamities 

We all must bear, yet not esteem it hard. 

Our fraUty sets this odds from higher powers, 

And their disorders are appeased by ours. 

It is a hard injunction of the gods 

To set our natures and ourselves at odds; 

When they afflict, though due unto our crimes, 

Yet they give to the nature that repines. 

Though if we use it well, none but they give 

That blessing, that we are displeased to live. 

'Twas life first cozened man, and did entice 

By knowledge its fair gift to cheat him twice; 

Man was a happy stranger to himself 

When he believed his ignorance his wealth. 

The Blind Lady, then, can hardly be said to have been a success. Its 
workmanship is poor, its plot weak, and its characterization, with the 
possible exception of that of Pysander and of one or two of the minor 
figures, conventional and unconvincing. 

" See Act III, Scene 1, Act IV, Scene 1, etc. 


While it may be said, in extenuation of the faults found in The Blind 
Lady, that this was Howard's first play (so far as is known), he seems to 
have been only partially successful in overcoming these weaknesses later 
on, in the Four New Plays, published 1665, and in The Great Favorite, or 
The Duke of Lerma, published 1668, and combined with the 1665 edition 
into Five New Plays, \6^2. In the edition of 1665 were contained: (1) The 
Surprisal, and (2) The Committee, both comedies; and (3) The Indian 
Queen, and (4) The Vestal Virgin, or The Roman Ladies, both tragedies. 
These four, with The Blind Lady and with Howard's later tragedy. The 
Duke of Lerma, make up the sum total of his contributions to dramatic 
literature. The Committee will be reserved for later treatment. The Blind 
Lady has already been sufficiently discussed. Let us examine with some 
care the other plays. 

In the address To the Reader prefaced to the Four New Plays Howard 
excuses their publication on the same grounds as those he advanced in 
connection with his poems; to wit, "these follies were made'public as much 
against my inclination as judgment. But being pursued with so many 
solicitations of Mr. Herringman's, and having received civilities from him 
if possible exceeding his importunities, I at last yielded to prefer that which 
he believed his interest, before that which I apprehended my own disad- 
vantage." It may well be, however, that the real reason for Howard's 
putting the plays into print lay in his being accused by certain of his 
contemporaries of plagiarism. This charge was made, we shall see, with 
reference to The Duke of Lerma, and may have been made regarding The 
Vestal Virgin}^ Whatever the cause, the publication of Howard's plays 
was justified by the undcubted merit of The Indian Queen a-nd The Commit- 
tee, whatever the defects of the other two plays. 

The Surprisal, a conventional comedy of intrigue, is better constructed 
than is The Blind Lady, but is yet hardly worthy of much attention. 
Pep3's saw it several times, and had little good to say of it. On April 8, 
1667 he saw "the end of the Surprisall, wherein was no great matter," 
according to his opinion. Again on August 6 of the same year, he com- 
ments: "... saw The Surprisall, a very mean play, I thought; or else 
it was because I was out of humor, and but very little company in the 

" Langbaine {English Dramatic Poets, p. 276), after praising Sir Robert as "one whose 
plays will remain eternal testimonies to posterity of his skill in dramatic performances," adds: 
"Some readers, who are strangers to the excellent talents of Sir Robert, might expect from me 
some discoveries of what he has borrowed; but I am to inform them that this admirable poet 
has too great a stock of wit of his own, to be necessitated to borrow from others." This par- 
ticular statement is made prefatory to a comment upon the originality of The Vestal Virgin. 

That there was some talk of plagiarism with reference to Sir Robert's works would appear 
from a part of the Clerk's afiSdavit in The Sullen Lovers, Act III, Scene 1 : "I do likewise attest 
that he is no purloiner of other men's works, the general fame and opinion notwithstanding." 


house." This last comment would indicate, too, that the play was not 
very popular among the theatre-goers of the time. Pepys saw the play 
again on December 26, 1667, remarking that it "did not please me today, 
the actors not pleasing me."'^ There is one other reference given, under 
date of May 1, 1668, when Pepys "saw the Surprisall," but no comment 
is made. Geneste characterizes the play as "on the whole a moderate 
piece."^^ While our judgment can but coincide with his, I think, yet we 
may well examine the play itself more carefully. 

As to plot, we are at the outset plunged into a maze of complications. 
Miranzo, returning from travel, finds that his rich uncle, Castruccio, is 
about to marry a young girl, one Emilia, the alliance having been arranged 
through Emilia's father. Miranzo's sister, Samira, is also in trouble, her 
lover, Cialto, having lost his fortune through the trickery of the recently 
deceased father of one Brancadoro, a foppish but rich youth. Cialto refuses 
to see Samira, now that he is poor, and she is in despair, especially since 
Castruccio plans to marry her off to Brancadoro, despite her contempt for 
the little fool and her steadfast love for Cialto. Finally, lest there be too 
few complications, enters one Villeroto, a renegade soldier who has been 
cashiered through the influence of Cialto, and who very naturally hates 
the latter. Villeroto works on the fears of Brancadoro, who is a craven as 
well as a fop, and makes him fear Cialto, whom he knows to be in love with 
Samira; as a result Brancadoro is persuaded to hire Villeroto and some 
fellow ruffians to kill Cialto. 

In endeavoring to straighten matters out and to prevent the marriage 
of his uncle, lest that mean the loss of his own and his sister's source of 
income, Miranzo meets and falls in love with Emilia. By threatening to 
kill himself unless she will return his love, he frightens her into delaying the 
wedding, and Samira, who was at the same time to have wed Brancadoro, 
flees to a nunnery, whither Emilia later follows her. On the way both 
girls are captured by Villeroto, who is lying in wait to kill Cialto; they are 
threatened with ruin, have all sorts of trouble, and are finally rescued by 
Miranzo, who gets in touch with them by disguising himself as a friar. 
Then Brancadoro, Castruccio, and the others, who have sought the girls, 
in vain, at the nunnery, come up, and matters are quickly straightened 
out. Brancadoro is frightened into restoring Cialto's estate and, Castruc- 
cio proving reasonable, Miranzo and Emilia, and Cialto an^d his Samira, are 
left happy. 

In the main, the weaknesses in this play are those which were noted in 
connection with The Blind Lady. The plot is less tenuous, although even 

" All of the quotations are from Pepys' Diary. 

^ Some Account of the English Stage (Bath, 1832) vol. I, p. 56. 


more complicated and even less easy to follow. The characterization is 
rather better handled, Miranzo and Villeroto, as hero and villain, being 
fairly well drawn. The women, though, are unconvincing; Cialto, with his 
jealousy and his too quickly aroused suspicions, is a very unappealing 
lover; and Brancadoro is overdrawn. The general impression one gets of 
the play is that the workmanship is still amateurish, and the plot too slight. 
In conclusion, it may be noted that barring an occasional couplet — and 
these in addition to the couplets with which, in practically all of his plays, 
Howard ends his scenes — The Surprisal is written throughout in blank 
verse. There is some improvement noticeable over the work done in The 
Blind Lady, although, as the following quotation will show, there is much 
still to be hoped for. 

Cialto. Why do I still pursue, what still must fly, 

And what I dare not wish to overtake? 
It seems like the pursuit of night, which follows day 
In the same track, and yet can never reach it. 
That distance nature did for them decree, 
And honor has designed the same for me. 
Yet still there is a mutiny withra, 
Against those laws which honor strictly makes; 
And passion like a cunning traitor sets 
The name of liberty on its own rebellion." 

Leaving The Surprisal, then, we may pass on to a consideration of The 
Vestal Virgin, or The Roman Ladies, a play which would hardly deserve 
mention were it not for one or two unusual features in its construction. 
It will be best, I think, to confine our attention to these features, since the 
story itself is even more complicated and of even less real value than those 
already discussed. Sufiice it to say that there are three distinct love affairs 
involved — that of Tiridates, an Armenian captive of Rome, for Hersilia, 
daughter of a Roman Senator; that of Sertorius, late a general, for Hersilia, 
and later for Marcellina, her cousin; and that of Artabaces, an Armenian 
prince and brother to Tiridates, for Verginia, a Vestal Virgin, sister to 
Hersilia and cousin to Marcellina. The action centers around these couples 
and the efforts of Sulpitius, brother to Sertorius, to get Hersilia for himself. 
His efforts call in the aid of Mutius, a braggart and pseudo fire-eater, and 
involve all sorts of deep and dark devices, including even setting fire to the 
house of Emilius, the girls' father, in an effort to spirit Hersilia away in the 

It is in the matter of extricating his characters from their difficulties 
that Howard has adopted a device which is unusual, and is worth attention. 

" Act V, Scene 1. Note the couplet, lines 5 and 6. Howard has a habit of inserting these 
couplets without much reason. In The Duke of Lcrma, especially, blank verse and rhyme are 
often combined apparently at random. See page 30. 


He planned the play as a tragedy, showing an amazing bloodthirstiness in 
the way in which he killed off all of his characters except Sulpitius, who is 
being led to trial and probable death as the play ends. Later, however, 
perhaps feeling that the play was too unpleasant in that guise, Howard 
wrote an alternative comedy ending. This device is commented upon by 
both Ward^^ and Langbaine,'* both of whom compare the play in this re- 
spect to Suckling's Aglaura. In all honesty it must be admitted that the 
comedy version is but little more pleasing than the tragedy. In the comedy 
no one dies — not even Sulpitius, who certainly deserves it. Moreover, the 
comedy ending accords ill with the rest of the play, and is as flat and anti- 
climactic as the tragedy is melodramatic and over-gory. 

The Vestal Virgin differs from Howard's other plays, also, in that it is 
written almost entirely in rhyme. The abundance of sight rhymes, how- 
ever, and Sir Robert's fondness for inserting platitudinous bits of moralizing 
tend to detract materially from any interest one is likely to feel in the story 
itself or in the versification. I quote a few lines from Act II, Scene 1, as 
examples of the sort of work Howard has done here. 


Love cannot, like the winds it helps, convey 
To fill two sails, though both are spread one way. 

Designs that hit should be as swift as aim; 
They should go quicker off. Powder not dry 
Does seldom hit, but makes the soul more shy. 

And this, from Act III, Scene 1 : 

But our unsteady actions cannot be 
Managed by rules of strict philosophy. 
There is but part belongs unto our care; 
Fortune has right, and title to a share. 

There is, to my mind, but one really outstanding character in The Vestal 
Virgin; and that one is, strangely enough, the "second villain," as we might 
call him — Mutius, Sulpitius's tool. Mutius is a blustering, yet cowardly 
braggart who, in the face of really serious crime, discovers some elements of 
manhood yet stirring in his breast. He is an unlovely specimen, it is true; 
ye 1 1 think he is better drawn than are even Sertorius, Sulpitius, and Atar- 
baces, all of whom fail to register very strong or definite impressions upon 
the reader. Of the women, Samira is fairly convincing, but Verginia is little 
more than a lay figure. 

Finally, except for the inclusion of a few Roman names, such as that of 
the Tiber, Numa's grove, the Flavian Bridge, etc., there is little to suggest 

" English Dramatic Literature (London ,1899) vol. Ill, p. 394. 
*' English Dramatic Poets vol. I, p. 58. 


that The Vestal Virgin is what it purports to be, a play dealing with the 
Romans. It may be that, as Geneste points out, Howard was "superla- 
tively ignorant of Roman manners. "^^ At any rate realistic Roman atmos- 
phere is conspicuous for its entire absence. 

If, then, we were to judge Howard, the dramatist, solely by the plays 
already considered, we would be very likely to agree with Scott, that his 
plays "vi^ere tolerated — on account of the rank, gallantry, and loyalty of 
the author."^" Even Scott, hov/ever, makes an exception in the case of 
The Committee, and most other critics are willing to grant almost equal 
merit to The Indian Queen, which we shall next consider. 

It is not my intention here to accord The Indian Queen as full treatment 
as that given the preceding plays. This action is taken, not because The 
Indiaii Queen is not, in itself, worthy of even closer study than are they — 
for it is in many respects superior to them — but because it is only in part 
the work of Howard, and even more because, as will be noted later, no way 
has yet been found by which to distinguish just what parts Howard himself 
wrote. While the play, then, is classed as Howard's — as one of his best, 
indeed — we may confine our present attention to a consideration of those 
features of its construction and production which seem to have a direct 
bearing on the present discussion. 

There are, we find, about this tragedy, a number of very interesting 
points. In the first place, written as it was in heroic verse, it may be said 
to have been practically the first English heroic play. It is thus spoken of 
by Ward,^^ and Nettleton agrees, that with this play and especially with 
Dryden's sequel. The Indian Emperor, "rhymed heroic tragedy came into 
full being. "22 In the second place. The Indian Queen is distinguished in that 
in its composition Howard had at least the advice and counsel, very prob- 
ably the actual collaboration, of Dryden. There has been considerable 
controversy as to what part each had in writing the play. Scott champions 
Dryden, as always, pointing out that the character Montezuma is a proto- 
type of Dryden's Almanzor, of The Conquest of Granada; that there are re- 
semblances between Zempoalla in lite Indian Queen and Nourmahal in 
Aureng-zebe; and finally that the language in The Indian Queen has "greater 
ease and a readier flov/ of verse" than are Sir Robert's. "The versification 
of this piece, which is far more harmonious than that generally used by 
Howard, shows evidently, that our author [Dryden] had assiduously cor- 
rected the whole play, though it may be difficult to say how much of it was 

*' English Stage vol. I, p. 58. 

^'^ Dryden's Works vol. II, p. 225; preface to The India?! Queen. 

^' Cambridge History of English Literature vol. VIII, p. 23. 

'"' English Drama of the Restoration and the ISlh Century (New York, 1914) p. 55. 


written by him."^^ Another critic agrees with Scott that "the shortcom- 
ings in versification of part of this play . . . suggest that it was submitted 
by him [Howard] for revision to Dryden, whose superior skill in the hand- 
ling of the couplet he freely confessed. "2' However, as the same critic points 
out elsewhere, the extent to which the two men collaborated must remain 
undecided, "at all events till a verse test shall have been perfected for ap- 
plication to our Restoration dramatists."" Dr. Johnson, also, notes that 
"the parts which either of them wrote are not distinguished,"^^ and with 
that we may dismiss the matter. Perhaps, though, it may well be pointed 
out here that for some reason Dryden's share in the writing of The Indian 
Queen was not generally known until, in 1665, he published what he in- 
tended as a sequel to this play, namely. The Tndian Emperor. The preface 
to this latter play offers e\ddence on this point and at the same time pre- 
sents an interesting comment upon the earlier work. "The conclusion of 
The Indian Queen (part of which poem was writ by me)," writes Dryden, 
"left little matter for another story to be built on, there remaining but two 
of the considerable characters alive; viz., Montezuma and Orazia."" 
Saintsbury adds: "The good Sir Robert had indeed heaped the stage with 
dead in his last act in a manner which must have confirmed any French 
critic who saw or read the play in his belief of the blood-thirstiness of the 
English drama. "2^ Nor was this the first time that Howard had done this; 
for, as we have already pointed out, this very same device of wholesale 
slaughter is utilized in the original or tragic version of The Vestal Virgin. 

That The Indian Queen was decidedly successful has been generally 
attributed to the magnificent scenic accessories and to the appeal which lay 
"in the remoteness and consequent strangeness of scene"^^ (among the 
Incas, in Peru) than to the heroic verse or to the exclusion of comic scenes 
from the tragedy. Both Pepys and Evelyn saw the play. The former 
writes: "... in the way observing the street full of coaches at the new 
play, 'The Indian Queen'; which for show, they say, exceeds 'Henry the 
Eighth.' "^° Apparently he did not see the play until a few days later, for on 
February 1, he mentions seeing "... the King, coming the other day to 
his theatre to see 'The Indian Queen' (which he commends for a very fine 
thing) . . ." Possibly as a result of this evidenceof royal favor, Pepys, on 
the same day, took his wife to the King's Theatre "and there saw 'The 

" Dryden's Works vol. I, p. 69. 

** Ward is the critic here; the reference is the same as (21), p. 26. 

^ English Dramatic Lielrature vol. Ill, p. 348. 

« Lives of Ihe English Poets (ed. Hill, Oxford, 1905) vol. I, p. 336. 

" Scott Dryden's Works vol. II, p. 321. 

«8 English Men of Letters (ed. Morley, London, 1907) vol. I, p. 42. 

*' Ward, in Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. Ill, p. 23. 

'0 Diary Jan. 27, 1664. 


Indian Queen' acted; which indeed," he says, "is a most pleasant show and 
beyond my expectation; the play good; but spoiled with the rhyme, which 
breaks the sense." Evelyn is likewise favorably impressed. The play is, 
he says, "a tragedy so well written, so beautiful with rich scenes as the like 
had never been seen here, or haply (except rarely) elsewhere on a mercenary 
theatre."'^ Both Langbaine^^ and Jacob^^ comment upon the "great ap- 
plause" with which the play was greeted, the latter adding that it has since 
"been converted to an opera and been represented with the like success." 
Finally, Geneste writes: " — this is completely a heroic tragedy, unnatural, 
but never dull — Zempoalla, the Indian Queen, is a good acting character."^* 

So much, then, for the contemporary and, to some extent, the later opin- 
ions on this play of Howard's. It must be admitted that present day readers 
will find in it little to interest them; furthermore the unevenness of the 
verse, the extravagance which marks much of the diction, and the wholesale 
butchering of the characters would tend to make our reaction a negative 
rather than a positive one. Nevertheless, The Indian Queen must be ranked 
as a successful play of its day, and as one of the most important of Howard's 

There now remains for our consideration in this chapter Howard's last 
play ,35 The Great Favorite, or The Duke of Lerma, printed in 1668. Atten- 
tion has already been called to the fact that Howard was accused of plagia- 
rism in connection with this play.'^ It is evident that these charges were 
directly responsible for the publication of the play and for Howard's ex- 
planation, in the prefatory address, of how he "came accidentally to write 
it." A play called the Duke of Lerma was brought to the King's company, 
says Howard, and "I was desired to peruse it, and return my opinion, 
whether I thought it fit for the stage. After I had read it I acquainted 
them, that in my judgment it would not be of much use for such a design, 
since the contrivance scarce would merit the name of a plot; and some of 
that assisted by a disguise; and it ended abruptly." For these and other 
reasons Howard considered the play "unfit to be presented by any that had 
a respect, not only to Princes, but indeed to either man or woman;" but 

'^ Diary Jan. 5, 1664. 

'* English Dramatic Poets, p. 276. 

" The Political Register vol. I, p. 142. 

'* Some Account of the English Stage vol. I, p. 57. 

« According to W. Carew Hazlitt [A Manual for the Collector and Amateur of Old English 
Plays (London, 1892) p. 47) a tragedy with the title "The Conquest of China" appears to have 
been written by Sir Robert Howard, and was intended to be revised by Dryden. It was never 
either acted or printed, however, and is now probably lost. This is the play, also, which Dry- 
den planned to revise "at the expense of six weeks' work." 

See also Dryden's letter of September, 1697, "to his Sons at Rome." 

» See page 22. 


since Howard himself was "about that time, being to go into the country," 
he was "persuaded by Mr. Hart" [probably the actor] to make it his diver- 
sion there "that so great a hint might not be lost, as the Duke of Lerma 
saving himself, in his last extremity, by his unexpected disguise. "^^ This 
device, continues Howard, "is as well in the true story as in the old play; 
and besides that and the names, my altering the most part of his characters, 
and the whole design, made me uncapable to use much more; though per- 
haps written with higher style and thoughts than I could attain to," Dry- 
den comments upon this apology of Howard's in a rather sarcastic vein: 
" . . . having so much altered and beautified it [the play in question], as he 
has done it can justly belong to none but him. Indeed, they must be ex- 
tremely ignorant as well as envious, who would rob him of that honor; for 
you see him putting in his claim to it even in the first two lines. "^^ The fact 
that the Defence, in which this statement of Dryden's appeared, was in it- 
self an answer to this very preface of Howard's to The Duke of Lerma,^* 
accounts for the tone Dryden adopts, and for the slighting reference to 
"the first two lines." 

Dismissing, however, this question of authorship, we find that in The 
Duke of Lerma Howard has at last succeeded in working out a well-knit, 
direct, yet tensely dramatic plot; one that is at once gratifyingly free from 
the annoying side issues and complications so common in his earlier plays, 
and is at the same time well worth more than a passing glance, because of 
its positive merits. 

The Duke of Lerma, out of favor at court, is in sore straits financially, 
and is, moreover, in imminent danger of banishment from court. The King 
(of Spain), however, who is ill when the play opens, dies soon after, and the 
Queen, even more Lerma's enemy than was the King, also dies, under sus- 
picious circumstances. This brings to the throne Philip II, an easy-going, 
rather weak-willed youth, malleable, open to influence, and in most ways 
lacking in anything resembling kingly firmness and wisdom. Lerma sees 
his chance. He persuades his daughter, Maria, to win the favor of Philip, 
live with him as his mistress, and thus bring about her father's restoration 
to favor. Despite virtuous scruples, Maria consents, and the plan succeeds. 
Lerma, once more in power, seeks vengeance against his foes, especially 
against his Uncle, the Duke of Medina. Lerma also amasses considerable 

" See Act V, Scene 2. 

" A Defence of an Essay of Dramatic Poesy. See An English Garner (ed. Arber) vol. VII, 
p. 116. 

" The Defence and the preface to The Duke of Lerma are two of the documents involved 
in the Dryden-Howard controversy. Howard's first two lines in The Duke of Lerma are in 
blank verse; hence Dryden's comment. This whole matter will be discussed in the latter part 
of the present chapter. 


wealth, as do his tools, and through one of the latter, a friar whom Lerma 
makes Archibishop of Toledo, he [Lerma] is appointed a cardinal. Soon, 
however, Maria, repenting of her action, endeavors to stand between her 
father's plots and her uncle and the other conspirators; and later even runs 
away from court. Philip, deprived of her influence, is soon brought over 
to the side of Lerma's enemies, and, the downfall of the Duke is imminent. 
He is summoned to trial for the murder of the late Queen, Medina having 
found out that he was instrumental in bringing about her death. He finally 
saves himself, in this last extremity, by appearing at the trial in his car- 
dinal's habit — on the supposition, of course, that as a cardinal he cannot be 
tried. He states that he has made arrangements to retire to a monastery of 
his own, laughs at his enemies, and goes out; and thus the play ends. Maria, 
about to go into a convent, is persuaded that the good of the State demands 
that she marry Philip, as he vows never to marry anyone else. 

That this plot is comparatively simple is evident. There is included 
practically nothing that is irrelevant. The scenes are well handled, some 
of them being grippingly dramatic. The action does not lag, nor is the plot 
spun out too long. All in all, from the standpoint of plot, then. The Duke 
of Lerma is a very fair production, and far superior to any of Howard's 
earlier work. 

In characterization, also, Howard has here achieved happier results. 
Lerma, with his coolly calculated schemes, his deliberate villainy, and his 
consistent freedom from any too annoying conscientious scruples, is almost 
refreshing. He is convincing, and, I think, rather appealing despite his 
wickedness. Maria, torn between father love and her sense of honor, is 
convincing, if not very strong. And at least one other character, the Duke 
of Medina, is very well drawn. Straightforward, direct, scorning intrigues 
and plots, yet working always for his country's good, he makes an admirable 
foil for Lerma, and is about as good as bit of characterization as I have been 
able to find in Howard's work so far mentioned. 

In t;he matter of versification, however. The Duke of Lerma is something 
of a puzzle. Howard has here combined blank verse with rhyme, appar- 
ently without any definite reason therefor.^° In several places, for instance,''^ 
he switches to verse where there has been no evident increase in the tension 
of the scene, nor any other cause which would seem to account for his ac- 
tion. Again, while most of the verse is in heroic couplets, and the blank 
verse in iambic pentameters, there is included a Masque''^ in which Howard 

" See the preface to The Duke of Lerma, and see also the discussion of this use of rhyme 
and blank verse together which is included in the matter relating to the Dryden-Howard 

" See Act II, Scene 2; Act III. Scene 2; Act IV, Scene 2; and Act V, Scene 2. 

« Act IV, Scene 1. 


uses partly iambic tetrameter and partly an alternation of these with Iambic 
pentameter. The point is, not that any of these arrangements are unusual, 
but that there seems to be no system in their use, no plan behind it all. 
Lastly, in single speeches we sometimes lind what would today, no doubt, 
be called free verse. For example, this, from Act IV, Scene 1 : 

Medina. This is the likest thing 

To virtue I ever saw. 
Besides, had she been vicious, 
She would not have neglected her revenge, 
One of the pleasantest lust ill women have. 
All may be counterfeit — and yet — 
There may be such a thing as a good woman. 

Whether Howard's controversy with Dryden had left him rather in doubt 
as to what his own practices in versification should be, or whether he was 
simply experimenting, I do not know. But in all events, meritorious though 
the play be in other respects, in this it leaves one both perplexed and some- 
what annoyed, even irritated, at Howard's lack of consistency. 

The Duke of Lerma, then, because of its vigorous, stirring action, its very 
fair characterization, and its direct, strong, well-knit plot, is deserving of 
considerable praise. It is, I think, only slightly inferior to The Indian 
Queen, and is in some ways superior to The Committee, although the two 
plays are of such different sorts that comparisons are difficult. Certainly, 
at any rate, Howard has, in The Duke of Lerma, made great strides in dra- 
matic technique since his production of The Blind Lady, The Vestal Virgin, 
and The Surprisal, and the later play is a far more finished production than 
any of these three. Also it is readable, even now — something which the 
others are not. 

Before leaving this subject, we may note one or two comments upon the 
play. Ward declares that it is ''not devoid of merit, but it is chiefly inter- 
esting as a protest (only a partial protest, however) on Howard's part 
against the theories of dramatic versification advocated by Dryden." And 
again, "its action, though undoubtedly crude in treatment, is interesting 
and stirring."'*^ And Pepys — for of course Pepys saw the play — offers his 
contribution thus; "The play designed to reproach our king with his mis- 
tresses, that I was troubled for it, and expected it should be interrupted; 
but it all ended well, which solved all. The play a well-writ and good play, 
only its design I did not like of reproaching the King; but altogether a very 
good and most serious play."^ And with that we may leave it. 

We have now finished our scrutiny of the individual plays of Sir Robert 
Howard, (with the exception of The Committee), and are ready to consider 

** English Dramatic Litraeture vol. Ill, p. 394. 
** Diary Februry 20, 1668. 


the various facts of the Dryden-Howard controversy. It may seem that 
this discussion should have preceded, instead of following, what has gone 
before; it may be pointed out, however, that the controversy is of more 
interest intrinsically than in connection with Howard's plays, and, further, 
that only in The Duke of Lerma did there appear to be any noticeable efifect 
of the discussion upon Sir Robert's own methods of composition. He com- 
bined rhymed and blank verse in most of his plays, even in those which were 
undeniably "serious"; and in Tke Duke of Lerma itself, as will be noted 
again later, he did not confine himself to the practice of what he was so 
assiduously preaching. Indeed, the parts of this play which are in rhyme 
are declared by Ward to be "among some of the most important passages 
in it."^^ We may, then, review the controversy independently, first sketch- 
ing the argument itself, as developed by various stages, and then comment- 
ing upon certain extraneous features involved. 

Stripped of all personalities, the history of the Dryden-Howard con- 
troversy is as follows. In 1664 Dryden included in the Dedicatory Epistle 
to his The Rival Ladies certain arguments advanced to show that rhyme was 
more suitable than blank verse, for dramatic purposes."*^ Having defended 
"writing scenes in verse" as "not so much a new way amongst us, as an old 
way new revived," Dryden proceeds to refute the charges made against 
rhyme. He admits that at times, where the writer has an insufficient com- 
mand of English, rhyme is inconvenient, in that it leads to unnatural word 
order, etc. But, he urges, "this is the only inconvenience with which rhyme 
can be charged. This is that, which makes them say, 'Rhyme is not natural.' 
It being only so, when the poet either makes a vicious choice of words; 
or places them, for rhyme's sake, so unnaturally, as no man would, in or- 
dinary speaking. But when 'tis so judiciously ordered, that the first word 
in the verse seems to beget the second; and that, the next; till that becomes 
the last word in the line, which, in the negligence of prose, would be so; it 
must, then, be granted rhyme has all advantages of prose, besides its own." 
Finally, Dryden urges on behalf of rhyme certain specific advantages gained 
from its use; namely, "the help it brings to memory"; its use in repartee, 
in that "the sudden smartness of the answer, and the sweetness of the 
rhyme set ofif the beauty of each other"; and, last and most important, 
"that benefit, which I consider most in it, ... that it bounds and circum- 
scribes the fancy." 

To these arguments of Dryden's Sir Robert Howard took exception, in 
his Preface to Four New Plays, 1665. Howard, first voicing his disapproval 
of the English tragi-comedies of his time, on the ground that they did not 

** English Dramatic Literature vol. Ill, p. 395. 

** The complete set of documents in this matter (i. e., regarding the whole controversy) 
will be found in Arber's English Garner, vol. VII, pp. 23-134 inclusive. 


follow the ancient models (i. e., Seneca, Terence, and Plautus) but were 
guilty of "mingling and interweaving mirth and sadness, through the whole 
course of their plays," takes up for specific discussion the question, 
"Whether verse in rhyme, or verse without the sound, which may be called 
Blank Verse, (though a hard expression) is to be preferred?" In general, he 
says,"they are both proper; that is, one for a play, the other for a poem or 
copy of verses; as blank verse being as much too low for one as rhyme is un- 
natural for the other." A play is presented as the present effect of acci- 
dents not thought of, and hence rhyme, which should be premeditated, is 
unnatural to a play. This is particularly true when "a piece of verse is 
made up by one who knew not what the other meant to say; and the former 
verse answered as perfectly in sound as the last is supplied in measure." 
The point that rhyme circumscribes the fancy Howard dismisses as irrele- 
vant, for "the dispute is not which way a man may write best in, but which 
is most proper for the subject he writes upon." Finally, he urges, "Nor are 
great thoughts more adorned by verse, than verse unbeautified by mean 
ones. So that verse seems not only unfit in the best use of it, but much more 
in the worst, when 'a servant is called,' or 'a, door is bid to be shut' in 
rhyme. "^^ 

It was this attack of Howard's which called forihtheEssay of Dramatic 
Poesy, 1668,, in which Dryden presents, through Crites, all of the arguments 
advanced by Howard, and refutes them through Neander. It will hardly 
be necessary here to review in much detail this essay of Dryden's; it is too 
well known, for one thing, and the general position of the two men has al- 
ready been sufiiciently outlined. Sufiice it to say that Crites defends the 
classical Unities, and again urges that rhyme is not fit for tragedy, in that 
it cannot express great thoughts naturally, or low ones, well. In fact, the 
points made are precisely those advanced by Howard in his Preface. Ne- 
ander then replies, though, as he says, "with all imaginable respect and 
deference both to that person [i. e., Howard] from whom you fi. e., Crites] 
have borrowed your strongest arguments; and to whose judgment, when I 
have said all, I finally submit." Dryden's refutation here may well be 
summed up in his opening paragraph: "But before I proceed to answer your 
objections, I must first remember you, that I exclude all comedy from my 
defence; and next, that I deny not but that blank verse, may be also used; 
and content myself only to assert that in serious plays, where the subject 

" It may be well to add here Howard's apology for his own rather inconsistent practises. 
"But while I give these arguments against verse, I may seem faulty, that I have not only writ 
ill ones, but writ any. But since it was the fashion, I was resolved, as in all indifferent things, 
not to appear singular; the danger of the vanity being greater than the error. And therefore, 
I followed it as a fashion, though very far off." Crites and Neander are Howard and Dryden,, 


and characters are great, and the plot unmixed with mirth . . . , rhyme is there, 
as natural, and more effectual than blank verse." Ward quotes Ker as point- 
ing out that the Essay on Dramatic Poesy might be summed up in Dryden's 
triplet in the Prologue to Secret Love (1667):^^ 

The Unities of Action, Place, and Time, 
The Scenes unbroken, and a mingled chime 
Of Jonson's manner and Corneille's rhyme. 

It is not too much to say that here the real argument, as such, ceases, 
for the later stages of the discussion are but little more than reiterations of 
the previous assertions, added to but by no means graced by considerable 
personal recrimination. In order better to understand these later develop- 
ments it will be well first to retrace out steps briefly. 

At the time of the publication of The Rival Ladies, 1664, Dryden was 
already under some obligations to Howard''^ and further, he had but the 
year before married Lady Elizabeth Howard, Sir Robert's sister. It would 
appear that this marriage, however, was not a happy one, perhaps because 
"his wife was, it is said, ill-tempered and not overburdened with brains, and 
he himself was no more a model of conjugal propriety than most of his 
associates."^" Whatever the truth of this matter, the point to be noted is 
that there developed between the two men a coolness which was due in the 
main to Howard's attitude of patronizing superciliousness, but which may 
have been caused in part by Dryden's marital infelicity and consequent 
irritation. We may here resume our survey of the controversy from a new 
angle, looking upon it as largely an interchange of personalities. 

Scott^^ and Christie,^^ ^s well as some critics of Dryden's own time, have 
insisted upon considering the whole Dryden-Howard affair as a personal 
quarrel. Such would seem hardly to have been the case at first, for there 

** Cambridge History of English Literature vol. VIII, p. 27, note. 

" There is ample evidence that Howard befriended Drj-den during the latter's early years 
— later, too, for that matter. We may note Dryden's letter to Howard, prefixed to Annus 
Mirabilis (1667): "I am so many ways obliged to you, and so little able to return your 
favors that, like those who owe too much, I can only live by getting farther into your debt. 
You have not only been careful of my fortune, which was the effect of your nobleness, but 
you have been solicitous of my reputation, which was that of your kindness." 

Note also these lines, from Shadwell's The Medal of John Bayes, with reference to Dry- 

"Then by th' assistance of a noble knight, 

Th' hadst plenty, ease, and liberty to write. 

First like a gentleman he made thee live; 

And on his bounty thou didst amply thrive." 
*° Saintsbury, in English Men of Letters, vol. I, p. 23. 
** Dryden's Works vol. I, p. 84. 
■'^ The Poetical Works of John Dryden (Globe edition, London, 1907) introduction, p. xxvii. 


is nothing of an unpleasantly personal nature in Howard's first Preface, and 
in the Essay of Dramatic Poesy itself Dryden characterized his opponent 
(as Crites) as "a person of sharp judgment, and somewhat too delicate a 
taste in wit, which the world have mistaken in him for ill-nature" — surely 
no very harsh criticism. Dryden, then, seems not to have looked upon the 
discussion as a personal matter. As for Howard, the only point at which 
he, personally, could cavil was a statement in Dryden's letter to Lord Buck- 
hurst (preceding the Essay), to the effect that "none are very violent 
against it [rhymed verse] but those who either have not attempted it, or 
who have succeeded ill in their attempt." And this censure, Howard writes 
in the Preface to The Duke of Lernia, "as to myself and him, I easily ac- 
knowledge; for I confess none has written, in that way, better than himself; 
nor few worse than I," 

If, then, the quarrel may be said to have been personal, it was so during 
only its later stages, and the real fault lay in Howard's adopting, in his reply 
to the Essay of Dramatic Poesy (Howard's preface to The Duke of Lerma), 
"the air of a person to whom, as a statesman and public man, the points in 
dispute are mere trifles," and in his pretending to stoop, with patronizing 
condescension, "to a discussion with one to whom, as a mere litterateur, 
^ch matters are of importance."" Scott is even stronger in his condemna- 
tion of Howard's attitude here, characterizing it as "supercilious censure," 
and urging that "the whole tone of the preface is that of one who wished to 
have it supposed that he was writing concerning a subject rather beneath 
his notice, and only felt himself called forth to do so by the dogmatism of 
those who laid down confident rules or laws in matters so trifling."^* This 
tone, by the way, seems to have been one which Howard was rather too 
prone to adopt on various occasions. In this instance it brought down upon 
his head a crushing reply, in the Defence of An Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 
prefaced to the second edition of The Indian Emperor, 1668. This was the 
final document of the controversy. 

In the Defence the seriously critical part deals with Howard's attacks on 
the employment of rhyme in tragedy, on the observance of strict rules in 
dramatic composition, and on the observance of the Unities. It is of more 
interest to us, however, that in this Defence Dryden also "ridicules what 
Shadwell had ridiculed before in The Sullen Lovers, Howard's cox-combical 
affectation of universal knowledge," and that he "mercilessly exposes his 
ignorance of Latin, and the uncouthness of his English. "^^ "It would be 
difi&cult" writes Scott, "to point out deeper contempt and irony, couched 
under language so temperate, cold, and outwardly respectful. "^^ This esti- 

^ J. C. Collins, in Arber's An English Garner vol. VII, Introduction, p. xix. 
" Dryden s Works vol. II, p. 290. 
^ The same. 


mate seems somewhat too harsh, especially in view of the last two para- 
graphs of the Defence itself, in which Dryden goes far toward making 
amends for anything which he may have said to offend Howard. "But I 
lay my observation at his feet, as I do my pen, which I have often employed, 
willingly, in his deserved commendations; and, now, most unwillingly, 
against his judgment. For his person and parts, I honor them, as much as 
any man living; and have had so many particular obligations to him, that 
I should be very ungrateful, if I did not acknowledge them to the world." 
Then follows Dryden's own account of the whole controversy, as follows: 

"But I gave the first occasion of this Difference in Opinions. In my 
Epistle Dedicatory, before my Rival Ladies, I said somewhat in behalf of 
verse; which he was pleased to answer in his Prologue to his Plays. That 
occasioned my reply in my Essay; and that reply begot his rejoinder in his 
Prologue to The Duke of Lerma. But, as I was the last to take up arms, I 
will be the first to lay them down. For what I have here written, I submit 
it wholly to him; and, if I do not hereafter answer what may be objected to 
this paper, I hope the World will not impute it to any other reason, than 
only the due respect which I have for so noble an opponent." 

So far as Dryden and Howard were concerned, this closed the matter. 
Before noting a later development of the controversy, however, we ngi^ 
point out that not only was Howard inconsistent in his observance of his 
own precepts,^^ but even Dryden himself abandoned, but a few years later, 
"the way of writing plays in verse, which I have seemed to favor; I have," 
he continues,^' "since that time, laid the practice of it aside till I have more 
leisure, because I fine it troublesome and slow. But I am no way altered 
from my opinion of it, at least, with any reasons which have opposed it." 

I have mentioned a later development of the Dryden-Howard contro- 
versy. Pepys, writing on September 20, 1668, speaks of having "since 
church heard the boy read over Dryden's Reply to Sir Robert Howard's 
answer, about his essay of Poesy, and a letter in answer to that; the last 
whereof is mighty silly, in behalf of Howard. "^^ This letter purports to be 
a defense of Howard and an attack on Dryden, and is signed "R. F,," which 

" The point has already been made (p. 30) that even in The Duke of Lerma Howard not 
only used ihynne, but used it for some of the most important scenes. "I will not . . . pretend to 
say," he writes in the a4dress preceding this play, "why I write this play, some scenes in blank 
verse, others in rhyme, since I have no better reason to give than chance, which waited upon 
my present fancy." 

*' Dedicatory Letter to Lord Buckhurst, preceding the Essay of Dramatic Poesy. The 
Essay was written in 1665, and was printed in 1668. Apparently the change took place be- 
tween these dates. 

*8 Diary. 


some have taken to indicate that it was written by Richard Flecknoe.^' 
The letter is not only "mighty silly," as Pepys had it, but is also both dull 
and puerile. It may be dismissed without further consideration. 

There was at least one other echo of the Dryden-Howard affair which 
may be mentioned. In 1663 Dryden's The Wild Gallant was offered to the 
theatre-going public, but it was not successful, despite the patronage of 
Lady Castlemaine, even of Charles II himself. In a Session of the Poets 
(c. 1670) there appears the following, with reference to the play and to Dry- 
den and Howard and their controversy. 

Sir Robert Howard, called for over and over, 
At length sent in Teague with a packet of news, 
Wherein the sad knight, to his grief did discover 
How Dryden had lately robbed him of his Muse. 

Each man in the court was pleased with the theft, 
Which made the whole family swear and rant; 
Desiring, their Robin in the lurch being left. 
The thief might be punished for his 'Wild Gallant.'*" 

And again, we have Captain Radcliffe's News from Hell, in which are 
listed the poets who are 

damn'd above; 

They're damn'd on earth by th' present age, 
Damn'd in cabals, and damn'd o' th' stage. 

Among these he lists Sir Robert H^jtvard, as "A seventh," calling him 
damned because 

he'd rather choose 

To spoil his verse than tire his Muse. 
Nor will he let heroics chime; 
Fancy (quoth he) is lost by rhyme; 
And he that's us'd to clashing swords 
Should not delight in sound of words. 
Mars with Mercur>' should not mingle; 
Great warriors should speak big, not Jingle.*^ 

So much, then, for the Dryden-Howard controversy — a controversy 
which waxed unduly warm at times, perhaps, and in which, perhaps, the 
opponents forsook to some slight extent that dignity which should have 
been theirs; yet a controversy which set for a time the style of rhymed 

^' For a full discussion of this "Letter from a gentleman to the Honorable Ed. Howard, Esq., 
occasioned by a Civilized Epistle of Air. Dryden's before his Second Edition of his Indian Em- 
peror," see the article by one Peter Cunningham, in the Gentleman's Magazine, December 1850, 
p. 597, under title of "Dryden's Quarrel w-ith Flecknoe." 

" Scott Dryden's Works vol. I, p. 68. 

*' Nichols, J. A. Select Collection of Poems vol. I, p. 145, note. 


heroic tragedies in England, which gave to us the Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 
and which was the prime factor in rendering Sir Robert Howard of any real 
importance in the history of English literature. 

We have now completed our survey of the life of Sir Robert Howard; we 
have considered what information was available concerning his political 
and social activities and his importance, in the light of these activities, in 
the life of his times; and have examined with some care all of his known 
contributions to literature except the one play. The Committee, which 
has been reserved for individual treatment in detail. We have seen 
that, socially and politically, Howard was by no means a negligible fac- 
tor in his own day; that he was an able and successful diplomat and 
statesman, of high birth, a worthy member of an illustrious family; that he 
was a zealous, courageous, and uniformly loyal supporter of his King — and 
that his devotion seems to have been suitably rewarded. We have noted 
that what faults he may have had of arrogance, opinionated obstinacy per- 
haps, and conceit, were counterbalanced by his generosity, his genuine 
kindliness and sympathy. And finally we have accorded to him that place 
in literature — an unimportant one, perhaps, yet still a place — to which, 
largely by virtue of his relations with Dryden, but partly at least because 
of definite merits in his own productions, he is entitled. 


"The Committee" and "Teague": History and Criticism 
The Committee -was by all odds the most successful of Sir Robert How- 
ard's six plays; it was, moreover, the only one to achieve anything like 
lasting popularity. It appeared in print first in 1665, in Howard's Four 
New Flays, although it was undoubtedly acted some years before that.^ 
After 1665 it was reprinted, either alone or with other of Howard's plays, 
in 1692, 1710, 1722, and 1733; and it was included in Bell's British Theatre 
and in similar collections under dates of 1775, 1776, 1790, 1791, 1797, and 
1811. As evidence of another sort we have notices^ of The Committee hav- 
ing been acted in the Haymarket in 1706; in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1732; 
in Covent Garden in 1749; and in Drury Lane in 1720, 1742, 1760, 1778, 
and 1788. Among the lists of actors and actresses are such as Mrs, Brace- 
girdle, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Leigh, Mrs. Woffington, and Miss Pope; and Lacy, 
Wilks, Cibber, Miller, Barrington, and Moody — an array of talent which, 
in itself, would bespeak considerable merit in the vehicle in which they ap- 

SuflBicient proof has been advanced to show that The Committee not only 
struck the popular fancy in Howard's own day but also succeeded in re- 
maining more or less of a stock favorite for over a century.^ The secret of 
this long continued popularity may, I think, be said to lie in the fact that it 
made a very specific appeal to Restoration audiences in that it is a sort of 
double-barrelled satire against the Puritans; it satirizes their piety, their 
mannerisms, and their customs quite in the manner so popular at the time, 
and it further pillories with biting irony the activities of the Roundhead 
Covenanters and Committees of Sequestration, any attack upon whom was 
sure to please the Restoration theatre-goers. This point will need further 
exposition; we may first, however, repeat: that to this contemporaneous 

* Evelyn saw The Committee on November 27, 1662 (see Diary) and Pepys saw it on June 
12, 1663, as well as later (see Diary). Their comments will be given later on. 

' See Geneste Some account of the English Stage vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. 

' As an additional point here, we note that an adaptation of The Committee, under the 
title of The Honest Thieves, was written by Thomas Knight, and "was acted at Covent Garden 
on May 9, 1797" with such success that it "became a stock play." (Dictionary of National 
Biography, vol. X, p. 61.) Baker's Biographica Dramatica (ed. Stephen Jones, London, 1812) 
vol. II, p. 308, mentions this adaptation. "The abridgment has been judiciously made, and 
the farce is still frequently performed." 

The Honest Thieves is contained in the collection. The London Stage, vol. I. It is readable, 
though not highly entertaining. 



appeal, and to the fact that one of the characters (Teague) in The Committee 
proved to be a favorite acting vehicle for some of the best comedians of the 
period and a favorite likewise with their audiences, rather than to any su- 
periority of dramatic technique, may be attributed the placing of this play, 
by Howard's contemporaries and by later critics, on a level above that at- 
tained to by his other plays. 

The better to understand the appeal The Committee made at the time of 
its appearance, we may review briefly some of the historical events per- 
taining thereto. 

In 1643, writes Macaulay,* "while the event of the war [the Civil Wars] 
was still doubtful, the Houses . . . had required all men to subscribe that re- 
nowned instrument known by the name of the Solemn League and Cove- 
nant [not to be confused with the Scottish National Covenant of 1638]." 
The real aim of this Covenant was to get the people of England and Scot- 
land "to uphold the true Protestant religion in the Church of Scotland, to 
reform religion in the Church of England according to the example of the 
best reformed churches, ,"5 but in effect it naturally soon be- 
came a powerful weapon whereby the Roundheads might wreak vengeance 
upon their Royalist enemies. Macaulay continues: "Covenanting work, as it 
was called, went on fast. Hundreds of thousands affixed their names to the 
rolls, and, with hands lifted up toward heaven, swore to endeavor, without 
respect of persons,the extirpation of Popery and Prelacy, heresy and schism, 
and to bring to public trial and condign punishment all who should hinder 
the reformation of religion. When the struggle was over [i. e., the war] the 
work of innovation and revenge was pushed on with increased ardor. 
. . . Fines, often of ruinous amount, were laid on the Royalists, already 
impoverished by large aids furnished to the King. Many estates were con- 
fiscated. Large domains, belonging to the crown, to the bishops, and to the 
chapters, were seized, and either granted away or put up at auction. In 
consequence of these spoliations a great part of the soil of England was 
at once offered for sale. As money was scarce, as the market was glutted, 
as the title was insecure, and as the awe inspired by powerful bidders 
prevented free competition, the prices were often merely nominal. Thus 
many old and honorable families disappeared and were heard of no more; 
and many new men rose rapidly to affluence."" Further, with specific 
practice of sequestration, we find that: "Besides certain royalists alto- 
gether exempted from pardon [i.e., for Papacy], others were forced to 
compound for their 'delinquency,' either by complete forfeiture of their 

* History of England vol. I, pp. 137-138. 

" Montague, F. C. in The Political History of England, 1603-1660 (ed. Hunt & Poole, 
London, 1911) vol. VII, p. 290. 

' History of England vol. VII, p. 290 (see note 4). 


estates, or, more generally, by 'sequestration.' In the latter case the 
estates were seized by the State, whence they could be recovered by their 
original owners only by yielding from a sixth to a half of their value."' 
Nor was this all. On June 26, 1657, Parliament passed against the 
"popish recusants" a bill requiring that all suspected Papists appear 
and take oath of abjuration against the Pope, transubstantiation, pur- 
gatory, etc., or forfeit two-thirds of their estates to the Protector. The 
estates could not be transferred to their wives or children; further, if a 
Protestant married a recusant he became one also. This was, it will 
be noted, a severer sort of sequestration than that provided for by the 
Covenant of 1643; and it further stipulated that any one who had once 
been sequestered could not take the oath of abjuration until he had 
been for six months a constant attendant at Church or at a Christian meet- 
ing allowed by public authority.^ 

No further evidence will be necessary to show that any play which, dur- 
ing the Restoration, attacked such practices as these was bound to be suc- 
cessful. As for The Committee^ s being a general satire against the Puritans, 
in that respect it was much more conventional, and in accord with the work 
of other writers. It will hardly be necessary here to review the relations of 
the Puritans to the stage, nor the frequency with which, from the days of 
Elizabeth on, they were humorously or cruelly burlesqued by English 
writers. In this regard The Committee merely follows a well established 
precedent; its distinction lies in its political rather than in its social satire. 

From the standpoint of dramatic technique. The Committee has been 
characterized as "unadorned with any brilliancy of either thought or lan- 
guage,"^" as having "no great merit as to the writing,"" and as "a curious 

^ Cross, A. L. A History of England and Greater Britain (New York, 1914) p. 500. 

8 Firth, C. H. The Last Years of the Protectorate (London, 1909) vol. I, pp. 74 £F. The same 
writer gives (p. 79, note 4) some interesting figures. "On the revenue derived from the recu- 
sants, see the Calender of the Committee for Compounding, 1, p. xxi; 5, p. xxxii. A list of rec- 
usants under sequestration in 1655 shows that they numbered 1582 persons (ibid., 1, 741). 
In the revenue for 1658-9 there is an entry, 'By Receivers General arising chiefly by Papists' 
and Delinquents' estates, £54,087, 5s., 9d.' " ♦ 

' It may be well to append here, however, a partial list of plays in which Puritans figured 
as objects of mirth and ridicule. Chapman's An Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599; Shakespeare's 
Twelfth Night (at least one reference; II, 3), 1601; the anonymous satire, The Puritan, 1607; 
Middleton's The Family of Love, and A Mad World, both in 1608; Jonson's The Alchemist, 
and, especially, Bartlwlo?new Fair (acted 1610 and 1614 respectively). 

About Howard's own time we have Samuel Butler's famous burlesque, Hudibras, 1663; 
Lacy's The Old Troop, 1668; and such plays as Crowne's City Politics, 1673, and Mrs. Behn's 
The Roundhecuis, 1682. There were, of course, a host of other plays of this sort, both before 
and after The Cojtimittee. 

'" Bell's British Theatre (London, 1791) introduction to The Committee, in vol. 20. 

" Baker's Biographia Dramatica vol. II, p. 308. 


picture, or rather, caricature, of the manners of the later Commonwealth 
period, drawn by a hostile hand, . . . in which . . . the attack is made after so 
coarse a fashion that the edge of the satire is blunted. "^^ The story con- 
cerns the efforts made by a Mr. Day, Chairman of a puritanical Committee 
of Sequestration, and his socially ambitious wife, to acquire riches and power 
by any means available. Mr. Day, spurred on by his wife (who is the better 
man of the two), uses his position to accomplish the sequestration of the 
estates of two Irish Cavaliers, Blunt and Careless; he and his wife further 
scheme to secure, by underhand methods, the estates of two Irish orphans — 
Ruth, who has been adopted by them and supposes herself to be their 
daughter, and Arbella, said to be a rich Irish heiress, who has been brought 
over to England by Mrs. Day to be put under the wardship of Day. Mrs. 
Day plans to force Arbella, later, to marry Abel, the Days' foolish, sheep- 
ish, rather simple son. As the text itself is here appended, it will not be 
necessary to relate the developments of the plot in detail. Suffice it to 
point out that both the Committee and the Days are foiled; the girls dis- 
cover the plot to marry Abel to Arbella, and have much amusement at the 
former's expense, while the two Cavaliers, having refused to "take the Cov- 
enant" in order to secure their estates, and having gotten into considerable 
trouble thereby, finally outwit their opponents. Incidentally a dual love 
affair is developed, and the play ends happily. Arbella keeps her estate and 
marries Blunt; Ruth gets back her estate and gives her hand to Careless, 
also furnishing the five hundred pounds demanded by the Committee as 
the price of returning the sequestrated estates of the two Cavaliers. And 
finally, a general feast is planned to celebrate the double marriage of the 
Cavalier party, and the Days are prevailed upon to take part in the rejoic- 

The principal intrinsic merit of The Committee lies, as has been pointed 
out, in the characterization, particularly in that of Teague, Careless's Irish 
footman. Teague is of sufficient importance to be considered separately, 
but attention may here be called to one or two of the other characters. Mr. 
Day, the rascally Chairman, is presented as "a vile kind of Tartuffe,"^^ 
sneaking, hypocritical, and a coward except when in power. The character 
is not, however, very skilfully drawn. His wife, Mrs. Day, is much better; 
she is, next to Teague, the most interesting type in the play. She is arro- 
gant, ambitious, selfish, and unscrupulous, but she is also energetic and is 
possessed of a powerful will. In all, she is a vigorous, well drawn character, 
positive rather than negative, a good bit of work. Of the other characters, 

^^ Ward English Dramatic Lilcrature vol. Ill, p. 393. 

" Ward English Dramatic Literature, vol. Ill, p. 393, note. 


Abel, the conceited fool, and Obadiah,^* the self-important, weighty func- 
tionary who is secretary to the Committee, are used largely as vehicles for 
the conveyance of the writer's ridicule. They are of minor importance to 
the action, and they are not original as characters. Ruth and Arbella and 
the two Cavalier lovers, Blunt and Careless, may be dismissed as conven- 
tional, though fairly well drawn. The two men are sufficiently typified in 
their names. ^* And that brings us to a consideration of the one outstand- 
ingly successful character in The Committee — Teague. 

In reserving Teague for individual attention, it is not my purpose to 
discuss in any detail the influence he had, as a type, upon later plays. That 
has already been done elsewhere. ^^ The purpose here is to sketch the de- 
velopment of the character by Howard and to present evidence supporting 
the contention that The Committee owed its popularity, in large measure, 
to the excellence of this one character. 

On the first point, Howard's development of the character of Teague, 
we have first an authentic account of the circum^stances which led Sir Robert 
to include such a type in his play at all.^^ "When Sir Robert was in Ireland, 
his son was imprisoned here [i. e., in England] by the Parliament for some 

" Macaulay {History of England, vol. Ill, p. 328-329) gives us an interesting side-light on 
Ohadiah. It seems that during the reign of James II, Obadiah Walker, head of Oxford, "had 
turned University College into a Roman Catholic Seminary. Christ Church was governed 
by a Roman Catholic dean. Mass was said daUy in both colleges. — The undergraduates, 
with the connivance of those over them, hooted the members of Walker's congregation, and 
chanted under his window's such ditties as: 
'Old Obadiah 
Sings Ave Maria' — 
When the actors came down to Oxford, the public feeling was expressed still more strongly. 
Howard's Committee was performed. This play. . . .exhibited the Puritans in an odious light 
and had therefore been, during a quarter of a century, a favorite with Oxonian audiences. It 
was now a greater favorite than ever; for, by a lucky coincidence, one of the most conspicuous 
characters was an old hypocrite named Obadiah. The audience shouted with dehght when, in 
the last scene, Obadiah was dragged in with a halter round his neck; and the acclamations re- 
doubled when one of the players, departing from the written text of the comedy, proclaimed 
that Obadiah should be hanged because he had changed his religion. The King was much 
provoked by this insult." 

'* For some further information concerning the characters in The Committee, and for a 
very clear account of the story of the play in detail, see A Companion to the Theatre &c. 
(printed for J. Nourse, London, 1747) vol. I, pp. 56-62. 

^* See Tellenbach Rob. Howard's Comedy "The Committee" &c., Zurich, 1913. Tellenbach 
makes the point that Sir Robert was the first to present the poor Irish exile in a better light — 
i. e., with sympathy rather than with ridicule. Also, relations are traced between Howard's 
Teague and the following: Shadwell's Teague O'Divelly, in both Ttte Lancashire Witches and 
The Amorous Bigot, Farquhar's Teague in both The Twin Rivals and The Beaux' Stratagem. 

" The account itself is contained in Some Anecdotes of the Howard Family, by C. Howard; 
p. 111. As I was unable to secure this book, I took the given quotation from Baker's Bio- 
graphia Dramatica vol. II, pp. 114-115. 


offence committed against them. As soon as Sir Robert heard of it, he sent 
one of his domestics (an Irishman) to England, with dispatches to his 
friends, in order to secure the enlargement of his son. He waited with great 
impatience for the return of this messenger; and when he at length ap- 
peared, with the agreeable news that his son was at liberty, Sir Robert, 
finding that he had been several days in Dublin, asked him the reason of his 
not coming to him before. The honest Hibernian answered, with great 
exultation, that he had been all the time spreading the news, and getting 
drunk for joy among his friends. He, in fact, executed his business with 
uncommon fidelity and dispatch; but the extraordinary effect, which the 
happy event of his embassy had on poor Paddy, was too great to suffer him 
to think with any degree of prudence of anything else. The excess of his 
joy was such that he forgot the impatience and anxiety of a tender parent; 
and until he gave that sufficient vent among all his intimates, he never 
thought of imparting the news there where it was most wanted and desired. 
From this Sir Robert took the first hint of that odd composition of fidelity 
and blunders which he has so humorously worked up in the character of 

It seems to me that "odd composition of fidelity and blunders" is in 
itself a fairly complete characterization of Teague. He is throughout loyal 
to Careless, his new master, as he had been to his old. But he is, withal, 
so wanting in tact of any sort, so prone to do the undiplomatic thing, that 
he is continually getting his master and himself into hot water. For in- 
stance, while he undertakes various missions for the benefit of the latter, 
and carries them out with some shrewdness, yet witness his very literal 
"taking of the Covenant" from the bookseller (Act II, Sc. 1); his insolent 
behavior toward the Committeemen, in the same Act, and toward Mrs. Day 
in Act III, Sc. 2. All in all, though, Teague is a rather likable fellow, and 
furnishes some very good fun, especially in his scenes with Obadiah, whom 
he makes drunk and then causes to sing and to take snuff in honor of the 
King. (See Act IV. Sc. 2, for this; see also Act V, Sc. 7.) 

Another factor which was largely instrumental in the success of The 
Committee was that the part of Teague seems to have appealed strongly to 
such actors as Lacy, Moody, and others of the most famous comedians of 
Howard's time. Lacy, in particular, was highly successful in the role. 
Downes, speaking of Lacy's acting in The Rehearsal, writes: 

For his Just acting, all gave him due praise, 

His part in The Cheats, Tony Thump, Teg, and Bayes, 

In these four excelling; the Court gave him the Bays."* 

This last may perhaps refer to the fact that Charles II so liked Lacy's work 
'* Roscius Anglicanus p. 23. 


that he had his portrait painted showing him in three of his most famous 
roles: as Teague, in The Committee; as Scruple, in The Cheats; and as Gal- 
liard, in The Variety. Evelyn writes {Diary, November 27, 1662) : " . . . saw 
acted The Committee, a ridiculous play of Sir Robert Howard, where the 
mimic, Lacy, acted the Irish footman to perfection." And Pepys ofifers 
several similar comments: "... saw T/ze Cowwz7/ee, a merry but indifferent 
play, only Lacy's part, an Irish footman, is beyond imagination."^* And 
again, "... saw TAgComwi/Zee,' which I went to with some prejudice, not 
liking it before, but I now find it a very good play, and a great deal of good 
invention in it; but Lacy's part is so well performed that it would set off 
anything."^'' We have also one more reference from Pepys, under date of 
October 28, 1667, where he speaks of The Committee as "a play I like well." 

In concluding our consideration of the character Teague, we may note 
that practically all of the available criticism is favorable, even Howard's 
harshest critics, Scott and Theophilus Gibber, falling into line. Scott writes: 
"The Committee, alone, of Howard's plays kept possession of the stage till 
our time; and that solely supported by the humors of Teague, an honest, 
blundering Irish footman, such as we usually see in a modern farce. "^^ And 
Cibber, speaking also of The Committee, notes that "this comedy is often 
acted, and the success of it chiefly depends upon the part of Teague being 
well performed. "22 In view of all this eulogy, it is interesting to note that 
Teague is not included among the dramatis personae in either the 1665 or 
the 1710 editions of The Committee. Apparently Howard builded better 
than he knew. The edition of 1776, of The English Theatre, contains a 
picture of Moody as Teague and Mr. Parsons as Obadiah, in the scene in 
Act IV, Scene 2; in the Bell's British Theatre edition of 1792 there is a pic- 
ture of Abel, Ruth, and Arbella, from Act IV, Scene 3, and a picture of a 
Mr. Rock as Teague. 

Finally we may present Baker's estimate :2^" . . . from the drollery of the 
character of Teague, and the strong picture of absurd fanaticism mingled 
with indecent pride, drawn in those of Mr. Day, Mrs. Day, and Abel, it had, 
long after every spark of party fire, as to that part of English history, was 
absolutely extinct, established itself as a standard acting comedy, and al- 
ways gave pleasure in the representation." 

In conclusion, then, we may say that The Cowwz7/ge, while inferior per- 
haps to The Duke of Lerma, is yet deservedly the best known of Howard's 
literary productions; and that, next to the Dryden-Howard controversy, 

^^ Diary June 12, 1663. 
^° Diary August 13, 1667. 
^1 Dryden's Works vol. II, p. 225. 
I " Lives of the Poets vo . Ill, p. 59. 

^ Biographia Dramatica vol. II, p. 115. 


it did most to perpetuate his name in literary history. It has a reasonably 
well-constructed plot, and while it might better have been cut short of the 
conventional five acts, it is successful in holding the interest of the reader. 
The humor is a bit coarse, at times, but is of a higher grade than that found 
in many plays of the period; and it is, withal, real humor. While The Com- 
mittee lacks, for us today, much of the appeal which in its own time it de- 
rived from its playing up of contemporary history, we are bound, I think, 
to agree with our old friend Pepys, that, take it all in all, it is "a good play." 


Introductory Note 

I have used for reproduction here the text of The Committee found in 
The New English Theatre, London, 1776, volume 5, since in this text are in- 
dicated (a) those passages which were omitted in the representation of the 
play at the theatres, and (b) the passages which were added at the theatres. 
The edition of 1792 (Bell, 1797; see 3 below) also distinguishes the lines 
omitted in the representation, but it is rather unsatisfactory for use in the 
present instance since many of these lines which were not acted have been 
entirely omitted by Bell; furthermore, the lines which were added by the 
theatres, while included by Bell, are not distinguished from the rest of the 

In the text which follows I have modernized the spelling, punctuation, 
and capitalization throughout, making no note of the changes made except 
where such changes materially alter the original reading. I have also: 

(a) Set of by quotation marks those passages which "were omitted in 
the representation at the theatres" (see page 54, lines 11 to 16). 

(b) Set of by parentheses the "additions made at the theatres" (see 
page 57, lines 19 to 22). 

(c) Set of by brackets and italics all interlinear stage directions, and by 
italics alone all other stage directions. 

(d) Explained by textual notes (see pp. 1 19-126) all variations not covered 
by (a), (b), and (c), above. 

With the text of 1776 I have collated the following: 

(1) The text of 1665, contained in Four New Plays; the title-page of 
the edition bears the notation that the four plays are printed "As 
they were Acted by His MAJESTIES/Servants at the Theatre- 

(2) The separate edition of 1710, printed "As it is Acted at the 

(3) The edition of 1792, in Bell's British Theatre, London, 1797, vol- 
ume 20. This edition is marked "Adapted for/Theatrical Repre- 
sentation,/ as performed at the Theatres Royal,/Drury-Lane and 
Covent-Garden. /regulated from the Prompt-books, /By Permis- 
sion of the Managers." 



or, the 
Faithful Irishman. 


Written by the Honorable 

Marked with the Variations in the 

at the 


Printed for T. Lowndes; T. Caslon; 

W. Nicoll; and S. Bladon. 


Dramatis Personae, 1776. 



Colonel Careless Mr. Brereton'^ 

Colonel Blunt Mr. Aickin 

Lieutenant Story Mr. Fawcet 

Nehemiah Catch^ Mr. Waldron 

Joseph Blemish ^ 

Johathan Headstrong > Committee Men 

Ezekiel Scrape ) 

Mr. Day, the Chairman to the Committee Mr. Baddely 

Abel, Son to Mr. Day Mr. Burton 

Obadiah, Clerk to the Committee Mr. Parsons 

Teague, with Songs^ Mr. Moody 

Tavern-Boy Mr. Evarard 

Bailiffs Mr. Griffith 

Soldier^ Mr. Blanchard 

Two Chair-Men Mr. Heath, &c. 

Gaol-Keeper Mr. Kear 

Servant to Mr. Day 
A Stage Coachman 

Bookseller Mr. Carpenter 

Porter^ Mr. Wrighten 


Mrs. Arbella Miss Jarratt 

Mrs. Day Mrs. Bradshaw 

Mrs. Ruth Mrs. King 

Mrs. Chat Mrs. Cartwright 

* 1792 edition (hereafter called Bell) is also marked "Drury Lane;" the same cast is given 
as above, except for the substitution of Miss Pope for Mrs. King, as "Mrs. Ruth." 

* No players' names given, 1665, 1710. 

^ All other editions include Nehemiah Catch as one of the Committee Men (i.e., in the 
curved bracket). 

* Omitted entirely, 1665, 1710; "with Songs" omitted, Bell. 
^Bayliffs, 1665. 

« Souldiers, 1665; Soldiers, 1710. 
"Omitted, 1665, 1710. 



To cheat the most judicious eyes, there be 

Ways in all trades, but this of poetry. 

Your tradesman shows his wares by some false light, 

To hide the faults and slightness from your sight; 
5 Nay, though 'tis full of bracks, he'll boldly swear 

'Tis excellent, and so help off his ware. 

He'll rule your judgment by his confidence, 

Which in a poet you'd call impudence; 

Nay, if the world afford the like again, 
10 He swears he'll give it to you for nothing then. 

Those are words too a poet dares not say; 

Let it be good or bad, you're sure to pay. 

. . . Would 'twere a pen'worth; . . . but in this you are 

Abler to judge, than he that made the ware. 
15 However, his design was well enough. 

He tried to show some newer-fashioned stuff. 

Not that the name COMMITTEE can be new; 

That has been too well-known to most of you. 

But you may smile, for you have passed your doom; 
20 The poet dares not, his is still to come. 



A C T I 

Scene I 
Enter mrs. day, brushing her hoods and scarfs; mrs. arbella, mrs. 


MRS. d: Now out upon't, how dusty 'tis! All things considered, 
'tis better travelling in the winter; especially for us of the better sort, 
that ride in coaches. And yet, to say truth, warm weather is both 
pleasant and comfortable; 'tis a thousand pities that fair weather 
5 should do any hurt. — Well said, honest coachman, thou hast 
done thy part. My son abel paid for my place at Reading, did he not? 
coach: Yes, an't please you. 

MRS. d: Well, there's something extraordinary, to make thee drink. 
coach: [Aside] By my whip, 'tis a groat of more than ordinary 

10 thinness. — Plague on this new gentry, how liberal they are. — Farewell, 
young mistress; farewell, gentlemen. Pray, when you come by 
Reading, let toby carry you. [Exit coachman.] 

MRS. d: Why how now, Mrs. arbella? What, sad? Why, what's 
the matter? 

15 are: I am not very sad. 

MRS. d: Nay, by my honor, you need not; if you knew as much as 
I. Well — I'll tell you one thing; you are well enough; you need not 
fear, whoever does; say I told you so, — if you do not hurt yourself; 
for as cunning as he is, and let him be as cunning as he will, I can see 

20 with half an eye, that my son abel means to take care of you in your 
composition, and will needs have you his guest, ruth and you shall 
be bed-fellows. I warrant that same abel many and many a time 
will wish his sister's place; or else his father ne'er got him. Though 
I say it, that should not say it, yet I do say it — 'tis a notable fellow — , 

25 are: [Aside] I am fallen into strange hands, if they prove as busy 
as her tongue — 

MRS. d: And now you talk of this same abel, I tell you but one 
thing; I wonder that neither he nor my husband's honor's chief 
clerk, obadiah, is not here ready to attend me. I dare warrant my 

30 son ABEL has been here two hours before us. 'Tis the veriest princox; 



he will ever be a-gallopping ; and yet he is not full one and twenty, for 
all his appearances. He never stole this trick of gallopping; his father 
was just such another before him, and would gallop with the best of 
'em. He and Mrs. busy's husband were counted the best horsemen 
5 in Reading — ay, and Berkshire to boot. I have rode formerly behind 
Mrs. BUSY, but in truth I cannot now endure to travel but in a coach. 
My own was at present in disorder, and so I was fain to shift in this; 
but I warrant you, if his honor, Mr. day, chairman of the honorable 
committee of sequestrations, should know that his wife rode in a 

10 stage-coach, he would make the house too hot for some. — [To the 
Colonel] Why, how is't with you, sir? What, weary of your journey? 
COL. b: [Aside] Her tongue will never tire. — So many, mistress, 
riding in the coach, has a little distempered me with heat. 
MRS. d: So many, sir? Why, there were but six. — What would 

15 you say if I should tell you that I was one of the eleven that travelled 
at one time in one coach? 

COL. b: [Aside] Oh the devil! I have given her a new theme. 
MRS. d: Why, I'll tell you — Can you guess how 'twas? 
COL. b: Not I, truly. But 'tis no matter, I do believe it. 

20 MRS. d: Look you, thus it was. There was, in the first place, 
m3^self, — and my husband, I should have said first; but his honor would 
have pardoned me, if he had heard me — Mr. busy, that I told you of, 
and his wife; the MAYOR of Reading andhis wife; and this ruth that 
you see there, in one of our laps. — But now, where do you think 

25 the rest were? 

COL. b: a top o' th' coach, sure. 

MRS. d: Nay, I durst swear you would never guess. — Why — , 
would you think it; I had two growing in my belly, Mrs. busy one in 
hers, and Mrs. mayoress of Reading a chopping boy, as it proved 

30 afterwards, in hers; as like the father as if it had been spit out of his 
mouth. And if he had come out of his mouth, he had come out of as 
honest a man's mouth as any in forty miles of the head of him; for 
would you, at the very same time, when this same ruth was 
sick, it being the first time the girl was ever coached, the good man — 

35 Mr. mayor, I mean, that I spoke of — held his hat for the girl to ease 
her stomach in. 

Enter abel and obadiah. 

Oh, are you come! Long looked for comes at last. "What, — 

you have a slow set pace, as well as your hasty scribble, sometimes." 

40 Did you not think it fit that I should have found attendance ready 
for me when I alighted? 
ob: I ask your honor's pardon, for I do profess unto your ladyship 


I had attended sooner, but that his young honor, Mr. abel, demurred 

me by his delays. 

MRS. d: Well, son abel, you must be obeyed, and I partly, if 

not quite, guess your business; providing for the entertainment 
5 of one I have in my eye. Read her and take her. Ah, is't not so? 

ABEL: I have not been deficient in my care, forsooth. 

MRS. d: Will you never leave your forsooths? Art thou not 

ashamed to let the clerk carry himself better, and show more breeding, 

than his master's son? 
10 ABEL: If it please your honor, I have some business for your more 

private ear. 

MRS. d: Very well. 

ruth: What a lamentable condition has this gentleman been in! 

Faith, I pity him. 
15 arb: Are you so apt to pity men? 

ruth: Yes, men that are humoursome, as I would children • that 

are froward. I would not make them cry a-purpose. 

arb: Well, I like his humour. I dare swear he's plain and honest. 

ruth: Plain enough, of all conscience. Faith, I'll speak to him. 
20 arb: Nay, prithee don't. He'll think thee rude. 

ruth: Why, then I'll think him an ass. — How is't after your 

journey, sir? 

COL. b: Why, I am worse after it. 

ruth: Do you love riding in a coach, sir? 
25 COL. b: No, forsooth, nor talking after riding in a coach. 

ruth: I should be loath to interrupt your meditations, sir; we 

may have the fruits hereafter. 

COL. b: If you have, they shall break loose spite of my teeth. 

— [Aside] This spawn is as bad as the great pike. 
30 arb: Prithee, peace! Sir, we wish you all happiness. 

COL. b: And quiet, good sweet ladies. — I like her well enough. 

— Now would not I have her say anything more, for fear she should 

jeer, too, and spoil my good opinion. If 'twere possible I would think 

well of one woman. 
35 MRS. d: Come, Mrs. arbella, 'tis as I told you, abel has done 

it; say no more. Take her by the hand, abel. I profess, she may 

venture to take thee, for better, for worse. Come, Mistress, the 

honorable committee will sit suddenly. Come, let's along. Farewell, 

sir. [Exeunt all but col, blunt] 

40 COL. b: How! The committee ready to sit! Plague on their 

honors — for so my honored lady, that was one of the eleven, was 

pleased to call 'em. I had like to have come a day after the fair. 


'Tis pretty, that such as I have been, must compound for their 
having been rascals. Well, I must go look for a lodging, and a solici- 
tor. I'll find the arrantest rogue I can, too; for, according to the old 
saying, set a thief to catch a thief. 
5 Enter colonel careless and lieutenant story 

COL. c: Dear blunt, well met. When came you man? 
col. b: Dear careless, I did not think to have met thee so 
suddenly. Lieutenant, your servant. I am landed just now, man. 
col. c: Thou speakest as if thou hadst been at sea. 

10 col. b: It's pretty well guessed. I have been in a storm. 
"col. c: What business brought thee?" 

"col. b: May be the same with yours: I am come to compound 
with their honors." 
"col. c: That's my business, too. Why, the committee sits 

15 suddenly." 

"col. b: Yes, I know it; I heard so in the storm I told thee of." 
COL. c: What storm, man? 

COL. b: Why, a tempest, as high as ever blew from woman's 
breath. I have rode in a stage-coach, wedged in with half a dozen; 

20 one of them was a committee-man's wife; his name is day, and she 
accordingly will be called Your Honor, and Your Ladyship, "with 
a tongue that wags as much faster than all other women's as, in the 
several motions of a watch, the hand of the minute moves faster than 
that of the hour." There was her daughter, too; but a bastard, 

25 without question, for she had no resemblance to the rest of the notched 
rascals; and very pretty, and had wit enough to jeer a man in prosper- 
ity to death. — There was another gentlewoman, and she was hand- 
some; nay, very handsome; but I kept her from being as bad as the 

30 COL. c: Prithee how, man? 

COL. b: Why, she began with two or three good words, and I 

desired her she would be quiet while she was well. 

COL. c: Thou wert not so mad! 

COL. b: I had been mad, if I had not. — But when we came to 

35 our journey's end, there met us two such formal and stately rascals 
that yet pretended religion and open rebellion ever painted. They 
were the hopes and guide of the honorable family; viz., the eldest 
son and the chiefest clerk, rogues — and hereby hangs a tale. — This 
gentlewoman I told thee I kept civil, by desiring her to say nothing, 

40 is a rich heiress of one that died in the king's service, and left his estate 
under sequestration. This young chicken has this kite snatched up, 
and designs her for this, her eldest rascal. 


COL. c: What a dull fellow wert thou, not to make love, and 

rescue her. 

COL. b: I'll woo no woman. 

COL. c: Wouldst thou have them court thee? A soldier, and not 
5 love a siege! — 

Enter teague. 

— How now, who art thou? 

teag: a poor Irishman, and Heaven save me, and save you all 

your three faces. I prithee give me a thirteen, "gad mastero." 
10 COL. c: A thirteen? I see thou wouldst not lose anything for want 

of asking. 

(teag: I can't afford it.) 

COL. c: Here, I am pretty near; there's sixpence for thy confidence. 

teag: By my troth, it is too little. (Give me another sixpence-half- 
15 penny, and I'll drink your healths.) 

COL. c: "Troth, like enough." How long hast thou hten in England? 

teag: Ever since I came here, (and longer, too,) faith. 

COL. c: That's true. What hast thou done since thou camest into 

20 teag: Served Heaven and Saint Pa/rxc^, and my good sweet king, and 

my good sweet master; yes, indeed. 

COL. c: And what dost thou do now? 

teag: Cry for them every day, upon my soul. 

COL. c: Why, where's thy master? 
25 teag: He's dead, mastero, and left poor teague. Upon my soul, he 

never served poor teague so before, (in all his life). 

COL. c: Who was thy master? 

teag: E'en the good Colonel danger. 

COL. c: He was my dear and noble friend. 
30 teag: Yes, that he was; and poor teague's, too, "faith now." 

COL. c: What dost thou mean to do? 

teag: I will get a good master, if any good master would get me. I 

cannot tell what to do else, by my soul, "that I cannot;" for I have 

went "and gone" to one Lilly's; he lives at that house; at the end of 
35 another house, by the May-pole-house, and tells everybody, by one 

star and t'other star, what good luck they shall have; but he could not 

tell nothing for poor teague. 

COL. c: Why, man? 

teag: Why, 'tis done by the stars (and the planets); and he told me 
40 there were no stars for Irishmefi. I told him "he told two or three lies, 

upon my soul:" there were as many stars in Ireland as in England, and 

more too, "that there are," and if a good master cannot get me, I will 


run into Ireland, and see if the stars be not there still; and if they be, I 

will come back, "i'faith," and beat his pate, if he will not then tell me 

some good luck and some stars. 

COL. c: Poor fellow, I pity him. I fancy he's simply honest. — Hast 
5 thou any trade? 

teag: Bo, bub bub bo, a trade, a trade! An Irishman a trade! An 

Irishman scorns a trade, "that he does;" (his blood is too thick for a 

trade;) I will run for thee forty miles, but I scorn to have a trade. 

COL. b: Alas, poor simple fellow. 
10 COL. c: I pity him; nor can I endure to see any man miserable that 

can weep for my prince, and friend. — Well, teague, what sayest thou 

if I will take thee? 

teag: Why, "I will say thou wilt do very well, then." (I say you 

could not do a better thing.) 
15 COL. c: Thy master was my dear friend, Wert thou with him when 

he was killed? 

teag: Yes, upon my soul, that I was; and I did howl over him, "and 

I asked him why he would leave poor teague." (and I asked him why 

he died, but the devil burn the word he said to me.) And i' faith, I 
20 staid kissing his sweet face, till the rogues came upon me and took 

away all from me; and I was naked till I got this mantle, that I was. I 

have never any victuals, neither, but a little snuff. 

COL. c: Come, thou shalt live with me; love me as thou didst thy 

23 teag: That I will, "i' faith," if you will be good to poor teague. 

COL. c: Now to our business; for I came but last night myself, and the 

lieutenant and I were just going to seek a solicitor. 

COL. b: One may serve us all. What say you, lieutenant, can you 

furnish us? 
30 lieu: Yes, I think I can help you to plough with a heifer of their 


COL. c: Now I think on't, blunt, why didst not thou begin with the 

committee-man's cow? 

COL. b: Plague on her, she low-belled me so that I thought of nothing, 
35 but stood shrinking like a dead lark. 

lieu: But hark you, gentlemen, there's an ill-tasting dose to be swal- 
lowed first; there's a covenant to be taken. 

teag: Well, what is that covenant? By my soul, I will take it for my 

new master, "if I could, that I would." 
40 COL. c: Thank thee, teague. — A covenant, sayest thou? 

teag: Well, where is that covenant? — 

COL. c: We'll not swear, Lieutenant. 


lieu: You must have no land, then. 

COL. b: Then farewell, acres, and may the dirt choke them. 

COL. c: 'Tis but being reduced to teague's equipage; 'twas a lucky 

thing to have a fellow that can teach one this cheap diet of snufiF. 
5 teag: (Oh, you shall have your belly full of it.) 

lieu: Come, gentlemen, we must lose no more time. I'll carry you 

to my poor house, where you shall lodge; for know, I am married to a 

most illustrious person, that had a kindness for me. 

COL. c: Prithee, how didst thou light upon this good fortune? 
10 lieu: Why, you see there are some stars in England, though none in 

Ireland. Come, gentlemen, time calls us; you shall have my story 


COL. b: Plague on this covenant. 

lieu: Curse it not; 'twill prosper then. [Exit blunt and lieu.] 

15 COL. c: Come, teague; however, I have a suit of clothes for thee; thou 

shalt lay by thy blanket for some time. It may be, thee and I may be 

reduced together to thy country fashion. 

teag: Upon my soul, joy, for I will carry thee "then into my country 

too," (to my little estate in Ireland). 
20 (coL. c: Hast thou got an estate?) 

(teag: By my soul, and I have; but the land is of such a nature that 

if you had it for nothing, you would scarce make your money of it.) 

COL. c: Why, there's the worst on't; the best will help itself. 


25 [Scene 2] 

Enier mr. day and mrs. day. 

MR. d: Welcome, sweet duck, I profess thou hast brought home good 

company, indeed; money and money's worth. If we can but now 

make sure of this heiress, Mrs. arbella, for our son abel. 
30 MRS. d: If we can? You are ever at your ifs. You're afraid of your 

own shadow. I can tell you one if more; that is, if I did not bear you 

up, your heart would be down in your breeches at every turn. Well — 

if I were gone, — there's another if for you. 

MR. d: I profess thou sayest true; I should not know what to do, 
35 indeed; I am beholden to thy good counsel for many a good thing. I 

had ne'er got ruth nor her estate into my fingers else. 

MRS. d: Nay, in that business, too, you were at your ifs. Now you 

see she goes currently for our own daughter; and this arbella shall 

be our daughter too, or she shall have no estate. 
40 MR. d: If we could but do that, wife! 

MRS. d: Yet again at your ifs? 

MR. d: I have done, I have done. To your counsel, good duck; you 

know I depend upon that. 


MRS. d: You may, well enough; you find the sweets on't. And to say 
truth, 'tis known too well, that you rely upon it. In truth they are 
ready to call me the committee-man; they well perceive the weight 
that lies upon me, husband. 
5 MR. d: Nay, good duck, no chiding now, but to your counsel. 

MRS. d: In the first place — observe how I lay a design in politics — 
d'ye mark, counterfeit me a letter from the king, where he shall offer 
you great matters, to serve him and his interest under hand. Very 
good; and in it let him remember his kind love and service to me. This 

10 will make them look about 'em and think you somebody. Then prom- 
ise them, if they'll be true friends to you, to live and die with them, and 
refuse all great ofifers. Then, whilst 'tis warm, get the composition of 
arbella's estate into your own power, upon your design of marrying 
her to ABEL. 

15 MR. d: Excellent! 

MRS. d: Mark the luck on't, too, their names sound alike; abel and 
ARBELLA — they are the same to a trifle. It seemeth a providence. 
MR. d: Thou observest right, duck; thou canst see as far into a mill- 
stone as another. 

20 MRS. d: Pish! Do not interrupt me. 
MR. d: I do not, good duck, I do not. 

MRS. d: You do not, and yet you do; you put me off from the conca- 
tenation of my discourse. Then, as I was saying, you may intimate 
to your honorable fellows that one good turn deserves another. That 

25 language is understood amongst you, I take it, ha? 
MR. d: Yes, yes, we use those items often. , 
MRS. d: Well, interrupt me not. 
MR. d: I do not, good wife. 
MRS. d: You do not, and yet you do. By this means get her compo- 

30 sition put wholly into your hands; and then, no abel, no land. — But — 
in the mean time I would have abel do his part too. 
MR. d: Ay, ay, there's a want; I found it. 
MRS. d: Yes, when I told you so before. 
MR. d: Why, that's true, duck. He is too backward. If I were in his 

35 place, and as young as I have been — 

MRS. d: Oh, you'd do wonders! But now I think on't, there may be 

some use made of ruth; 'tis a notable witty harlotry. 

(mr. d: Ay, and so she is, duck, I always thought so.) 

MRS. d: You thought so, when I told you I had thought on't first. — 

40 Let me see — it shall be so. We'll set her to instruct abel, in the first 
place; and then to incline arbella. The two are hand and glove, and 


women can do much with one another. 
MR. d: Thou hast hit upon my own thoughts. 
MRS. d: Pray call her in; you thought of that too, did you not? 
MR. d: I will, duck, ruth! Why, ruth! 
5 Enter ruth. 

ruth: Your pleasure, sir? 
MR. d: Nay, 'tis my wife's desire, that — 

MRS. d: Well, if it be your wife's, she can best tell it herself, I sup- 
pose. D'ye hear, ruth, you may do a business that may not be the 

10 worse for you. You know I use but few words. 
ruth: [Aside] What does she call a few? 

MRS. d: Look you now. To be short and to the matter, my husband 
and I do design this Mrs. arbella for our son abel, and the young 
fellow is not forward enough. You conceive? Prithee give him a little 

15 instructions how to demean himself and in what manner to speak, 
which we call address, to her, "for women best know what will please 
women." Then work on arbella on the other side. Work, I say, my 
good girl; no more, but so. You know my custom is to use but few 
words. Much may be said in a little. You shant repent it. 

20 MR. d: And I say something too, ruth. 

MRS. d: What need you? Do you not see it all said, already to your 
hand? What sayest thou, girl? 

ruth: I shall do my best. — [Aside] I would not lose the sport for more 
than I'll speak of. 

25 MRS. d: Go call abel, good girl. [Exit ruth] By bringing this to pass, 
husband, we shall secure ourselves if the king should come; you'll be 
hanged, else. 

MR. d: Oh, good wife, let's secure ourselves, by all means. There's a 
wise saying: 'Tis good to have a shelter against every storm. I re- 

30 member that. 

MRS. d: You may well, when you have heard me say it so often. 

Enter ruth with abel. 
MR. d: Oh, son abel, d'ye hear — 
MRS. d: Pray hold your peace, and give everybody leave to tell their 

35 own tale. — D'ye hear, son abel, I have formerly told you that ar- 
bella would be a good wife for you. Some endeavors must be used, 
and you must not be deficient. I have spoken to your sister ruth to 
instruct you what to say, and how to carry yourself; observe her direc- 
tions, as you'll answer to the contrary. Be confident, and put home. 

40 Ha, boy, hadst thou but thy mother's pate! Well, 'tis folly to talk 
of that that cannot be! Be sure you follow your sister's directions. 
MR. d: Be sure, boy. — Well said, duck, I say. 

[Exeunt mr. 6* mrs. day] 


ruth: Now, brother abel. 

abel: Now, sister ruth. 

ruth: [Aside] Hitherto he observes me punctually. — Have you a 

month's mind to this gentlewoman, Mistress arbella? 
5 abel: I have not known her a week yet. 

ruth: Oh, cry you mercy, good brother abel. Well, to begin then, 

you must alter your posture, "and by your grave and high demeanor 

make yourself appear a hole above obadiah; lest your mistress should 

take you for such another scribble-scrabble as he is;" and always hold 
10 your head up as if it were bolstered up with high matters, your hands 

joined flat together, projecting a little beyond the rest of your body, as 

ready to separate when you begin to open. 

abel: Must I go apace, or softly? 

ruth: Oh, gravely, by all means, as if you were loaded with weighty 
15 considerations. So! — Very well. Now to apply our prescription. 

Suppose now, that I were your Mistress arbella, and met you by 

accident: keep your posture — so, — and when you come just to me, 

start like a horse that has spied something on one side of him, and give 

a little gird out of the way, on a sudden; declaring that you did not 
20 see her before, by reason of your deep contemplations. Then you 

speak to her. Let's hear. 

abel: 'Save you, mistress. 

ruth: Oh, fie man! You should begin thus! Pardon, mistress, my 

profound contemplations, in which I was so buried that I did not see 
25 you: — and then, as she answers, proceed. I know what she'll say, I 

am so used to her. 

abel: This will do well, if I forget it not. 

ruth: Well, try once. 

abel: Pardon, mistress, my profound contemplations, in which I was 
30 so hid that you could not see me. 

ruth: [Aside] Better sport than I expected. — Very well done. You're 

perfect. Then she will answer: Sir, I suppose you are so busied with 

state affairs that it may well hinder you from taking notice of anything 

below them. 
35 abel: No, forsooth; I have some profound contemplations, but no 

state affairs. 

ruth: Oh, fie man, you must confess that the weighty affairs of state 

lie heavy upon you; but 'tis a burden you must bear; and then shrug 

your shoulders. 
40 abel: Must I say so? I am afraid my mother will be angry, for she 

takes all the state matters upon herself. 

ruth: Pish! Did she not charge you to be ruled by me? Why, man, 


ARBELLA Will never have you, if she be not made believe you can do 
great matters with parliament-men and committee-men; how should 
she hope for any good by you else, in her composition? 
abel: I apprehend you now. I shall observe. 
5 ruth: 'Tis well; at this time I'll say no more. Put yourself in your 
posture — so. — Now go look for your mistress. I'll warrant you the 
town's our own. 

abel: I go. [Exit abel] 

ruth: Now I have fixed him, not to go ofif till he discharges on his 

10 mistress. I could burst with laughing. 

Enter arbella. 
arb: What dost thou laugh at, ruth? 
ruth: Didst thou meet my brother abel? 
arb: No. 

15 ruth: If thou hadst met him right, he had played at hard head with 

arb: What dost thou mean? 

ruth: Why, I have been teaching him to woo, by command of my su- 
periors; and have instructed him to hold up his head so high that of 

20 necessity he must run against everything that comes in his way. 
arb: Who is he to woo? 
ruth: Even thy own sweet self. 
arb: Out upon him! 
ruth: Nay, thou wilt be rarely courted; I'll not spoil the sport by 

25 telling anything beforehand. They have sent to lilly, and his learn- 
ing being built upon knowing what most people would have him say, he 
has told them for a certain that abel shall have a rich heiress; and 
that must be you. 
arb: Must be? 

30 ruth: Yes, committee-men can compel more than stars. 
arb: I fear this too late. You are their daughter, ruth, 
ruth: I deny that. 
arb: How? 
ruth: Wonder not that I begin thus freely with you; 'tis to invite your 

35 confidence in me. 
arb: You amaze me. 

ruth: Pray do not wonder, nor suspect. — When my father. Sir basil 
thoroughgood, died, I was very young, "not above two years old;" 
'tis too long to tell, how this rascal, being a trustee, catched me and my 

40 estate, "being the sole heiress unto my father, into his gripes;" and 
now for some years has confirmed his unjust power by the unlawful 
power of the times. I fear they have designs as bad as this on you. 


You see I have no reserve, and endeavor to be thought worthy of your 

are: I embrace it with as muchr clearness. Let us love and assist one 
another. — Would they marry me to this, their first-born puppy? 
5 ruth: No doubt, or keep your composition from you. 

are: 'Twas my ill fortune to fall into such hands, foolishly enticed 
by fair words and large promises of assistance. 
ruth: Peace! 

Enter oeadiah. 

10 ob: Mrs. ruth, my master is demanding your company, together, 
and not singly, with Mrs. arbella; you will find them in the parlor. 
The committee, being ready to sit, calls upon my care and circumspec- 
tion to set in order the weighty matters of state for their wise and 
honorable inspection. [Exit] 

15 ruth: We come. — Come, dear arbella, never be perplexed. Cheer- 
ful spirits are the best bladders to swim with; if thou art sad, the weight 
will sink thee. Be secret, and still know me for no other than what I 
seem to be, their daughter. Another time thou shalt know all par- 
ticulars of my strange story. 

20 are: Come, wench, they cannot bring us to compound for our hu- 
mours; they shall be free still. [Exeunt] 


Scene 1 

25 Enter teague. 

teag: I'faith, my sweet master has sent me to a rascal, "now that he 
has;" I (have a great mind to go back and) tell him so. He asked me 
why he could not send one that could speak English. Upon my soul, 
I was going to give him an Irish knock. The devil's in them all, they 

30 will not talk with me. I will go near to knock this man's pate, and 
that man Lilly's pate, too — that I will. I will teach them to prate to 
me, "that I will." — [One cries books within] How now, what noises are 

Enter bookseller crying his wares. 

35 book: New books! New books! A desperate plot and engagement of 
the bloody cavaliers. *** Mr. saltmarsh's alarum to the nation, 
after having been three days dead, mercurius Britannicus, etc. 
teag: How's that? Now they cannot live in Ireland after they are 
dead three days. 

40 book: mercurius britannicus, or the weekly post; or the solemn 
league and covenant. 
teag: What is that you say? Is it the covenant; have you that? 


book: Yes. What then, sir? 
teag: Which is that covenant? 
book: Why, this is the covenant. 
teag: Well, I must take that covenant. 
5 book: You take my commodities? 

teag: I must take that covenant, upon my soul, now, "that I must." 

book: Stand off, sir, or I'll set you further. 

teag: Well, upon my soul now, I will take that covenant for my 


10 book: Your master must pay me for't, then. 

teag: (I must take it first, and my master will pay you afterwards.) 

"I'faith now, they will make him pay for't, after I have taken it for 


"book: What a devil does the fellow mean?" 

15 "teag: You will make me stay too long, that you will. Look you now, 
I will knock you down upon the ground, if you will not let me take it." 
book: "Stand off, sirrah!" (You must pay me now.) 
teag: "I'faith, I will take it now." (Oh, that I will. [Knocks him 
down] Now you're paid, you thief o' the world. Here's covenants 

20 enough to poison the whole nation.) [Exit] 

book: What a devil ails this fellow? [Crying] He did not come to rob 
me, certainly, for he has not taken above two pennyworth of lament- 
able ware away; but I feel the rascal's fingers. I may light upon my 
wild Irishman again, and if I do I will fix him with some catchpoles 

25 that shall be worse than his own country bogs. [Exit] 

[Scene 2] 
Enter colonel careless, colonel blunt, and lieutenant story, 
lieu: And what say you, noble colonels? How, and how d'ye like my 
lady? I gave her the title of illustrious, from those illustrious com- 

30 modities she deals in, hot water and tobacco. 

col. c: Prithee, how camest thou to think of marrying? 
lieu: Why, that which hinders other men "from those venereal con- 
ditions," prompted me to matrimony; hunger and cold. Colonel. 
col. c: "Which you destroyed with a fat woman, strong water, and 

35 stinking tobacco." 

lieu: No, faith, the woman conduced but little; but the rest could 

not be purchased without." 

col. c: "She's beholden to you." 

lieu: "For all your mocking, she had been ruined if it had not been 

40 for me." 

col. c: "Prithee, make but that good." 

lieu: "With ease, sir. — Why, look you, you must know she was al- 


ways a most violent cavalier, and of a most ready and large faith. 
Abundance of rascals had found her soft place, and perpetually would 
bring her news, news of all prices; they would tell her news from half 
a crown to a gill of hot water, or a pipe of the worst mundungus. I 
5 have observed their usual rates. They would borrow half a crown 
upon a story of five thousand men up in the north; a shilling upon a 
town's revolting; six-pence upon a small castle; and consume hot water 
and tobacco whilst they were telling news of arms conveyed into sev- 
eral parts, and ammunition hid in cellars; that, at the last, if I had not 

10 married and blown off these flies, she had been absolutely consumed." 
COL. c: "Well, Lieutenant, we are beholden to you for these hints; 
we may be reduced to as bad." See where teague comes. Goodness, 

how he smiles! 

Enter teague, smiling. 

15 — Why so merry, teague? 

teag: I have done a thing for you, "now, that I have," indeed. 
COL. c: What hast thou done, man? 
(teag: Guess.) 
(col. c: I can't.) 

20 teag: (Why then, guess again.) I have taken the covenant "for thee, 
that I have, upon my soul." 

COL. c: (How came you by it?) "Where hadst it thou?" 
teag: "Hadst it thou!" (Very honestly!) I threw a fellow down, that 
I did, and took it away for thy sweet sake. Here it is now. 

25 COL. c: Was there ever such a fancy! Why, didst thou think this was 
the way to take the covenant? 

teag: "Ay, upon my soul, that it is. Look you there, now; have I not 
taken it? Is not this the covenant? Tell me then, I prithee." (I am 
sure it is the shortest, and the cheapest way to take it.) 

30 COL. b: I am pleased, yet, with this poor fellow's mistaken kindness. 
I dare warrant him honest, to the best of his understanding. 
COL. c: This fellow I prophesy will bring me into many troubles by 
his mistakes. I must send him on no errand but How d'ye; and to such 
as I would have no answer from again. — Yet his simple honesty pre- 

35 vails with me; I cannot part with him. 

lieu: Come, gentlemen, time calls. — How- now, who's this? 

Enter obadiah, with four persons more, with papers. 
COL. c: I am a rogue if I have not seen a picture in hangings walk as 

40 COL. b: 'Slife, man, this is that good man of the committee family 
that I told thee of, the very clerk. How the rogue's loaded with papers ! 
— Those are the winding-sheets to many a poor gentleman's estate; 


'twere a good deed to burn them all. 

COL. c: What, thou art not mad, art? — Well met, sir. Pray, do you 
not belong to the Committee of Sequestrations? 

ob: I do belong to that honorable committee, who are now ready to 
5 sit for the bringing on the work. 

COL. b: Oh plague! What work, ras — 
COL. c: Prithee be quiet, man. — Are they to sit presently? 
ob: As soon as I can get ready, my presence being material. [£a;i/] 
COL. c: What, wert thou mad? Wouldst thou have beaten the clerk, 
10 when thou wert going to compound with the rascals, his masters? 
COL. b: The sight of any of the villains stirs me. 
lieu: Come, Colonels, there's no trifling; let's make haste, and pre- 
pare your business. Let's not lose this sitting. Come along, teague. 


IS [Scene 3] 

■ Enter arbella at one door, abel at another, as if he saw her not, and 
starts when he comes to her, as ruth had taught him. 

arb: What's the meaning of this? I'll try to steal by him. 
20 abel: Pardon, mistress, my profound contemplations, in which I was 

so hid that you could not see me. 

arb: [Aside.] This is a set form, — they allow it in everything but 

their prayers. 

abel: Now you should speak, forsooth. 
25 arb: [Aside] "ruth, I have found you; but I'll spoil the dialogue." 

— What should I say, sir? 

abel: What you please, forsooth. 

arb: Why, truly, sir, 'tis as you say; I did not see you. 
Enter ruth, as overhearing them, and peeps. 
30 ruth: This is lucky. 

abel: No, forsooth; 'twas I that was not to see you. 

arb:' Why, sir, would your mother be angry if you should? 

abel: No, no, quite contrary, — I'll tell you that presently; but first 

I must say, that the weighty affairs lie heavy upon my neck and 
35 shoulders. [Shrugs] 

arb: [Aside] Would he were tied neck and heels. — This is a notable 

wench; look where the rascal peeps, too; if I should beckon to her she'd 

take no notice; she is resolved not to relieve me. 

abel: Something I can do, and that with somebody; that is, with 
40 those that are somebodies. 

arb: Whist! Whist! [Beckons to Ruth, who shakes her head] Prithee, 

have some pity. Oh, unmerciful girl! 


abel: I know parliament-men, and sequestrators; I know committee- 
men, and committee-men know me. 
are: You have great acquaintance, sir? 
abel: Yes, they ask my opinion sometimes. 
5 arb: What weather 'twill be? Have you any skill, sir? 
abel: When the weather is not good, we hold a fast. 
arb: And then it alters? 
abel: Assuredly. 
arb: In good time — [Aside] No mercy, wench? 

10 abel: Our profound contemplations are caused by the consternation 
of our spirits for the nation's good; we are in labor. 
arb: And I want a deliverance. — Hark ye, ruth, take off your dog, 
or I'll turn bear indeed. 
ruth: I dare not; my mother will be angry. 

15 arb: Oh, hang you. 

abel: You shall perceive that I have some power, if you please to — 
arb: Oh, I am pleased, sir, that you should have power! I must look 
out my hoods and scarfs, sir; 'tis almost time to go. 
abel: If it were not for the weighty matters of state which lie upon 

20 my shoulders, myself would look for them. 

arb: Oh, by no means, sir; 'tis below your greatness. — 

Enters mrs. day. 
— [Aside] Some luck yet. She never came seasonably before. 
MRS. day: Why, how now! abel got so close to Mrs. arbella, so close 

25 indeed! Nay, then I smell something. — Well, Mr. abel, you have been 
so used to secrecy in council and weighty matters that you have it at 
your fingers' ends. Nay, look ye, mistress, look ye, look ye. Mark 
Abel's eyes. Ah, there he looks, ruth, thou art a good girl. I find 
ABEL has got ground. 

30 ruth: I forbore to come in, till I saw your honor first enter; but I have 
o'erheard all. 

MRS. d: And how has abel behaved himself, wench, ha? 
ruth: Oh, beyond expectation. "If it were lawful, I'd undertake he'd 
make nothing to get as many women's good-wills as he speaks to." 

35 He'll not need much teaching; you may turn him loose. 
arb: Oh, this plaguey wench. 

MRS. d: Sayest thou so, girl? It shall be something in thy way; a 
new gown or so; it may be, a better penny. Well said, abel, I say. I 
did think thou wouldst come out with a piece of thy mother's at last. — 

40 But I had forgot. The Committee are near upon sitting. Ha, mis- 
tress, you are crafty; you have made your composition beforehand. 
Ah, this Abel's as bad as a whole committee; take that item from me. 


Come, make haste. Call the coach, aijel. Well said, abel, I say. 
"arb: We'll fetch our things and follow you. [Exeunt mrs. day and 
abel] Now, wench, canst thou ever hope to be forgiven?" 
"ruth: Why, what's the matter?" 
5 "arb : The matter ! Couldst thou be so unmerciful to see me practised 
on, and pelted at, by a blunderbuss charged with nothing but proofs, 
weighty affairs, spirit, profound contemplation, and such like?" 
"ruth: Why I was afraid to interrupt you. I thought it convenient 
to give you what time I could, to make his young honor your friend." 

10 "arb: I am beholden to you. I may cry quittance." 

"ruth: But did you mark abel's eyes? Ah, there were looks!" 
"arb: Nay, prithee give off. My hour's approaching, and I can't be 
heartily merry till it be past. Come, let's fetch our things. Her lady- 
ship's honor will stay for us." 

15 "ruth: I'll warrant ye, my brother abel is not in order yet; he's 
brushing a hat almost a quarter of an hour, and as long a-driving the 
lint from his black clothes, with his wet thumb." 
"arb: Come, prithee hold thy peace. I shall laugh in his face, else, 
when I see him come along. Now for an old shoe." [Exeunt] 

20 [Scene 4] 

A table set out. 
The Committee, sitting; obadiah ordering books and papers. 
ob: Shall I read your honors' last order, and give you the account 
of what you last debated? 

25 MR. d: I first crave your favors, to communicate an important matter 
to this honorable board, in which I shall discover unto you my own 
sincerity, and zeal to the good cause. 

1 com: Proceed, sir. 

MR. d: The business is contained in this letter. 'Tis from no less a 
30 man than the king; and 'tis to me, as simple as I sit here. Is it your 
pleasures that our clerk should read it? 

2 com: Yes, pray give it to him. 

OB : [Reads] MR. day : We have received good intelligence of your great 
worth and ability, especially in state matters; and therefore thought fit to 

35 oj'er you any preferment, or honor, that you shall desire, if you will be- 
come my entire friend. Pray remember my love and services to your dis- 
creet wife, and acquaint her with this; whose wisdom, I hear, is great. So 
recommending this to her and your wise consideration, I remain. 

Your friend, c. k. 

40 2 com: C. K.! 

MR. d: Ay, that's for the king. 

2 com: [Aside] I suspect — Who brought you this letter? 


MR. d: [Aside] Oh, fie upon't my wife forgot that particular. — Why, 
a fellow left it for me, and shrunk away when he had done. I warrant 
you, he was afraid I should have laid hold upon him. You see, breth- 
ren, what I reject; but I doubt not but to receive my reward; and I have 
5 now a business to offer, which in some measure m.ay afford you an 

2. com: [^^iJe] This letter was counterfeited, certainly, 
MR. d: But first be pleased to read your last order. 
2 com: [Aside] What does he mean? That concerns me. 

10 ob: The order is, that the composition arising out of Mr. lashley's 
estate be, and hereby is, invested and allowed to the honorable Mr. 
NATHANIEL CATCH, for and in respect of his sufferings and good service. 
MR. d: It is meet, very meet; we are bound in duty to strengthen our- 
selves against the day of trouble, when the common enemy shall en- 

15 deavor to raise commotions in the land, and disturb our new-built 

"2 com: [^5f(/e] Then I'll say nothing, but close with him; we must 
wink at one another. — I receive your sense of my services with a zeal- 
ous kindness. Now, Mr. day, I pray you propose your business." 

20 "mr. d:" I desire this honorable board to understand that my wife 
being at Reading, and to comxe up in the stage-coach. It happened 
that one Mrs. arbella, a rich heiress of one of the Cavalier party, 
came up also in the same coach. Her father being newly dead, and her 
estate being before under sequestration, my wife, who has a notable 

25 pate of her own, — you all know her — presently cast about to get her 
for my son abel; and accordingly invited her to my house, where, 
though time was but short, yet my son abel made use of it. They are 
without, "as I suppose; but before we call them in, I pray let us handle 
such other matters as are before us." 

30 "l com: Let us hear then, what estates besides lie before us, that we 
may see how large a field we have to walk in." 
"2 com: Read." 

"ob: One of our last debates was upon the plea of an infant, whose es- 
tate is under sequestration." 

35 "mr. d.: And fit to be kept so tillhecomesof age, and may answer for 
himself; that he may not be in possession of the land till he can promise 
he will not turn to the enemy." 

"ob: Here is another of almost the like nature; an estate before your 
honors under sequestration. The plea is, that the party died without 

40 any offer of taking up arms; but in his opinion he was for the king. He 
has left his widow with child, which will be the heir; and the trustees 
complain of wrong, and claim the estate." 


"2 com: Well, the father, in his opinion, was a Cavalier?" 

"ob: So it is given in." 

"2 com: Nay, 'twas so, I warrant you; and there's a young Cavalier 

in his widow's belly; I warrant you that, too, for the perverse genera- 
5 tion increaseth. I move, therefore, that their two estates may remain 

in the hands of our brethren here, and fellow-laborers, Mr. Joseph 

BLEMISH, and Mr. Jonathan headstrong, and Mr. ezekiel scrape, 

and they to be accountable at our pleasure. Whereby they may have 

a godly opportunity of doing good for themselves." 
10 "MR. d: Order it! Order it!" 

"3 com: Since it is your pleasures, we are content to take the burden 

upon us, and be stewards to the nation." 

"2 com: Now verily, it seemeth to me that the work goeth forward, 

when brethren hold together in unity." 
15 MR. d: "Well, if we have now finished, give me leave to tell you, my 

wife is without," together with the gentlewoman that is to compound; 

she will needs have a finger in the pie. 

"3 com: I profess, we are to blame to let Mrs. day wait so long." 

"mr. d:" We may not neglect the public for private respects. I hope, 
20 brethren, that you will please to cast the favor of your countenances 

upon ABEL. 

2 & 3 com: You wrong us to doubt it. Brother day. Call in the com- 

(ob: Call in the compounders.) 
25 (Porter: Come in, the compounders.) 

Enter mrs. day, abel, arbella, ruth; and after them the colonels 
and TEAGUE. They give the doorkeeper something, and he 
seems to scrape. 

MR. d: Come, duck, I have told the honorable Committee that you 
30 are one that will needs endeavor to do good for this gentlewoman. 

2 com: We are glad, Mrs. day, that any occasion brings you hither. 

MRS. d: I thank your honors. I am desirous of doing good, which I 

know is always acceptable in your eyes. 

MR. d: Come on, son abel; what have you to say? 
35 abel: I come unto your honors, full of profound contemplations for 

this gentlewoman. 

are: [Aside to Ruth] 'Slife, he's at his lesson, wench. 

ruth: [^«We] Peace! — Which whelp opens next? Oh, the wolf is 

going to bark. 
40 MRS. d: May it please your honors, I shall presume to inform you that 

my son has settled his affections on this gentlewoman, and desires your 

honors' favor to be shown unto him in her composition. 


2 com: Say you so, Mrs. day? Why, the Committee have taken it 

into their serious and pious consideration, together with Mr. day's 

good service, upon some knowledge that is not fit to communicate. 

MRS. d: [Aside] That was the letter I invented. 
5 2 com: And the composition of this gentlewoman is consigned to Mr, 

DAY, — that is, I suppose, to Mr. abel, and so consequently to the 

gentlewoman. You may be thankful, mistress, for such good fortune. 

Your estate's discharged. Mr. day shall have the discharge. 

COL. b: [Aside] Oh, damn the vultures! 
10 COL. c: [Aside] Peace, man. 

are: I am willing to be thankful when I understand the benefit. I 

have no reason to compound for what's my own; but if I must, if a 

woman can be a delinquent, I desire to know my public censure, not 

to be left in private hands. 
15 2 com: Be contented, gentlewoman. The Committee does this in 

favor of you. We understand how easily you can satisfy Mr. abel; 

you may, if you please, be Mrs. day. 

ruth: [Aside] And then, good night to all. 

are: How, gentlemen! Are you private marriage-jobbers? D'ye 
20 make markets for one another? 

2 com: How's this, gentlewoman? 

COL. b: [Aside] A brave, noble creature! 

COL. c: [Aside] Thou art smitten, blunt. That other female, too, 

methinks shoots fire this way. 
25 teag: (Take care she don't burn your wig.) 

MRS. d: I desire your honors to pardon her incessant words. Perhaps 

she doth not imagine the good that is intended her. 

2 com: Gentlewoman, the Committee, for Mrs. day's sake, passes 

by your expressions; "you may spare your pains. You have the Com- 
30 mittee's resolution;" you may be your own enemy if you will. 

are: My own enemy? 

ruth: [Aside] Prithee, peace. 'Tis to no purpose to wrangle here; we 

must use other ways. 

2 com: [To the colonels] Come on, gentlemen; what's your case? 
35 ruth: arbella, there's the downright cavalier that came up in the 

coach with us. — On my life, there's a sprightly gentleman with him. 

COL. c: Our business is to compound for our estates [While they speak, 

the COLONELS pull the papers out and deliver them] of which here are the 

particulars, which will agree with your own survey. 
40 teag: (And here's the particulars of teague's estate: forty cows, 

and the devil a bull amongst them.) 

Ob: The particulars are right. 


MR. d: Well, gentlemen, the rule is two years' purchase, the first pay- 
ment down, the other at six months' end, and the estate to secure it. 
COL. c: Can you afford it no cheaper? 
2 com: 'Tis our rule. 
5 COL. c: Very well. 'Tis but selling the rest to pay this, and our more 
lawful debts. 

2 com: But, gentlemen, before you are admitted, you are to take the 
covenant; you have not taken it yet, have you? 
COL. c: No. 

10 teag: Upon my soul, but he has, now; I took it for him, and he has 
taken it from me, that he has. 
ruth: What sport are we now likely to have? 
2 com: What fellow's that? 
COL. c: A poor, simple fellow that serves me. Peace, teague. 

15 teag: Let them not prate so, then. 

2 com: Well, gentlemen, it remains whether you'll take the covenant? 
(teag: Why, he has taken it.) 

COL. c: This is strange, and dififers from your own principle, to im- 
pose on other men's consciences. 

20 MR. d: Pish! We are not here to dispute. We act according to our 
instructions, and we cannot admit any to cofnpound without taking it. 
Therefore, your answer. 

teag: "Why, was it for no matter, then, that I have taken the cov- 
enant? You, there, Mr. Committee, do you hear that now?" (Was it 

25 for nothing I took the — ) 

COL. c: (Hold your tongue.) No, we will not take it. Much good 
may it do them that have swallows large enough; 'twill one day work 
in their stomachs. 
COL. b: The day may come, when those that suffer for their con- 

30 sciences and honor may be rewarded. 

MR. d: Ay, ay, you make an idol of that honor. 
COL. b: Our worships, then, are different. You make that your idol 
which brings you interest; we can obey that which bids us lose it. 
arb: [Aside] Brave gentlemen! 

35 ruth: [Aside] I stare at 'em till my eyes aChe. 

2 com: Gentlemen, you are men of dangerous spirits. Know, we 
must keep our rules and instruction, lest we lose that Providence hath 
put into our hands. 
COL. c: Providence! Such as thieves rob by. 

40 2 com: What's that, sir? Sir, you are too bold. 

COL. c: Why, in good sooth, you may give losers leave to speak. I 
hope your honors, out of your bowels of compassion, will permit us 


to talk over our departing acres. 

MR. dI It is well you are so merry. 

COL. c: Oh, ever whilst you live, clear souls make light hearts. Faith, 

would I might ask one question? 
5 2 com: Swear not, then. 

COL. c: Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's goods; there's a Rowland 

for your Oliver. 

teag: (There is an Oliver for your Rowland. Take that till the pot 

10 COL. c: My question is only, which of all of you is to have our estates? 

Or will you make traitors of them, draw 'em, and quarter 'em? 

2 com: You grow abusive. 

COL. b: No, no, 'tis only to entreat the honorable persons that will be 

pleased to be our house-keepers, to keep them in good reparations; we 
15 may take possession again, without the help of the covenant. 

2 com: You will think better on't, and take this covenant. 

COL. c: We will be as rotten, first, as their hearts that invented it. 

ruth: [Aside] 'Slife, arbella, we'll have these two men; there are not 

two such again to be had for love nor money. 
20 MR. d: Well, gentlemen, your follies light upon your own heads. We 

have no more to say. 

COL. c: Why, then, hoist sails for a new world. — 

(teag: Ay, for old Ireland.) 

COL. c: D'ye hear that, blunt? What gentlewoman is that? 
25 COL. b: 'Tis their witty daughter I told thee of. 

COL. c: I'll go speak to 'em. I'd fain convert that pretty covenanter. 

COL. b: Nay, prithee, let's go. 

COL. c: Lady, I hope you'll have that good fortune, not to be troubled 

with the covenant. 
30 arb: If they do, I'll not take it. 

COL. b: Brave lady! I must love her against my will. 

COL. c: For you, pretty one, I hope your fortune will be enlarged by 

our misfortunes. Remember your benefactors. 

ruth: If I had all your estates, I could afford you as good a thing. 
35 COL. c: Without taking the covenant? 

ruth: Yes, but I would invent another oath. 

COL. c: Upon your lips? 

ruth: Nay, I am not bound to discover. 

COL. b: Prithee, come. Is this a time to spend in fooling? 
40 COL. c: Now have I forgot everything. 

COL. B: Come, let's go. 

2 com: Gentlemen, void the room. 


COL. c: Sure, 'tis impossible that kite should get that pretty merlin. 

COL. b: Come, prithee let's go. These muck-worms will have earth 

enough to stop their mouths with, one day. 

COL. c: Pray use our estates husband-like. And so, our most honor- 
5 able bailiffs, farewell. [{Exeunt colonels careless and blunt)] 

(teag: Ay, bumbaily rascals.) 

MR. d: You are rude. Door-keeper, put 'cm forth, there. 

porter: Come forth, ye there. This is not a place for such as you. 

teag: (Devil burn me, but) ye are a rascal, that you are, now. 
10 porter: And please your honors, this profane Irishman swore an oath 

at the door, even now, when I would have put him out. 

2 com: Let him pay for it. 

porter: Here, you must pay, or lie by the heels. 

teag: What, must I pay by the heels? I will not pay by the heels, 
15 "that I will not, upon my soul." (Master, ubbub boo!) 

(Enter careless.) 

(col. c: What's the matter?) 

(teag: This gander-faced gag says I must pay by the heels.) 

(col. c: What have you done?) 
20 (teag: Only swore a bit of an oath.) 

col. c: Here, here's a shilling "for thee. Be quiet." (Pay for it and 

come along.) [Exetait the colonels] 

teag: Well, I have not cursed "you now, that I have not. What if I 

had cursed, then?" (But how much had that been?) 
25 porter: That had been sixpence. 

teag: Och, if I had but one sixpence-halfpenny in the world, but I 

would give it for a curse to ease my stomach on you. My money is 

like a wild colt; I am obliged to drive it up in a corner to catch it. I 

have hold of it, by the scruff of the neck. Here, mister, there's the 
30 shilling for the oath. And there's the sixpence-halfpenny for you, for 

the curse, beforehand. And now my curse, and the curse of cromwell, 

light upon you all, you thieves, you. [Knocks down the porter and Exit] 

"ruth: Hark ye, arbella; 'twere a sin not to love these men." 

"arb: I am not guilty, ruth." 
35 MRS. d: Has this honorable board any other command? 

2 com: Nothing farther, good Mrs. day. — Gentlewoman, you have 

nothing to care for, but to be grateful and kind to Mr. abel. 

ARE : I desire to know what I must directly trust to, or I will complain. 

MRS. d: The gentlewoman needeth not doubt. She shall suddenly 
40 perceive the good that is intended her, if she does not interpose in her 

own light. 

MR. d: I pray, withdraw. The Committee has passed their order, and 


they must now be private. 

2 com: Nay, pray, mistress, withdraw. — [Exeunt all hut the Committee] 
"So, brethren, we have finished this day's work; and let us always keep 
the bonds of unity unbroken, walking hand in hand, and scattering 
5 the enemy." 

"mr. d: You may perceive that they have spirits never to be recon- 
ciled; they walk according to nature, and are full of inward darkness." 
"2 com: It is well, truly, for the good people, that they are so obsti- 
nate; whereby their estates may of right fall into the hands of the 

10 chosen, which is truly a mercy." 

MR. d: I think there remaineth nothing farther, but to adjourn till 
Monday. '^[To obadiah] — Take up the papers there, and bring home 
to me their honors' order for Mrs. arbella's estate. — So, brethren, 
we separate ourselves to our particular endeavors, till we join in public 

15 on Monday, two of the clock;" and so, peace remain with you. 


Scene 1 
20 Enter colonel careless, colonel blunt, and lieutenant 


lieu: By my faith, a sad story. I did apprehend this covenant would 

be the trap. 

COL. c: Never did any rebels fish with such cormorants; no stoppage 
25 about their throats; the rascals are all swallow. 

"col. b: Now am I ready for any plot. I'll go find some of these agi- 

tants, and fill up a blank commission with my name. And if I can but 

find two or three gathered together, they are sure of me. I will please 

myself, however, with endeavoring to cut their throats." 
30 "col. c: Or do something to make them hang us, that we may but 

part on any terms." — 

Enter teague. 
— How now, teague, what says the learned? 

teag: Well, then, upon my soul, the man in the great cloak, with the 
35 long sleeves, is mad, that he is. 

col. c: Mad, teague! 

teag: Yes, i'faith, is he. He "bid me be gone, and" said I was sent 

to make game of him. 

COL. c: Why, what didst thou say to him? 
40 teag: "Well, now," I asked him if he would take any counsel. 

COL. c: 'Slife, he might well enough think Ihou mockedst him. Why, 

thou shouldst have asked him when we might come for counsel. 


teag: Well, that is all one, is it not? If he would take any counsel, 
or you would take any counsel, is not that all one, then? 
COL. c: Was there ever such a mistake? 

COL. b: Prithee, never be troubled at this; we are past counsel. If 
5 we had but a friend amongst them, that could slide us by this cove- 

COL. c: Nothing angered me so, as that my old kitchen-stuflf acquain- 
tance looked another way, and seemed not to know me. 
COL. b: How, kitchen-stuff acquaintance! 
10 COL. c: Yes, Mrs. day, that commanded the party in the hackney- 
coach, was my father's kitchen maid, and in time of yore called 


lieu: Hark ye. Colonel; what if you did visit this translated kitchen- 

15 teag: Well, how is that? A kitchen-maid? Where is she now? 
COL. b: The lieutenant advises well. 

COL. c: Nay, stay, stay. In the first place I'll send teague to her, to 
tell her I have a little business with her, and desire to know when I may 
have leave to wait on her. 

20 COL. b: We shall have teague mistake again. 

teag: How is that, now? I will not mistake that kitchen-maid. 
Whither must I go now, to mistake that kitchen-maid? 
COL. c: But d'ye hear, teague? You must take no notice of that, 
upon thy life; but on the contrary, at every word you must say Your 

25 Ladyship, and Your Honor; as for example, when you have made a 
leg, you must begin thus: My master presents his service to Your 
Ladyship, and having some business with Your Honor, desires to 
know when he may have leave to wait upon Your Ladyship, ([teague 
turns his back on the colonel] Blockhead, you must not turn your 

30 back.) 

teag: (Oh, no, sir; I always turn my face to a lady.) "Well, that I 

will do." But was she your father's kitchen-maid? 

COL. c: Why, what then? 

teag: Upon my soul, I shall laugh upon her face, for all I would not 

35 have a mind to do it. 

COL. c: Not for a hundred pounds, teague. You must be sure to set 
your countenance, and look very soberly, before you begin. 
teag: If I should then think of any kettles, or spits, or anything that 
will put a mind into my head of a kitchen, I should laugh then, should 

40 I not? 

COL. c: Not for a thoilsand pounds, teague; thou mayst undo us all. 
teag: Well, I will hope I will not laugh, then. I will keep my mouth. 


if I can, that I will, from running to one side, and t'other side. Well, 

now, where does this Mrs. tay live? 

lieu: Come, teague, I'll walk along with thee, and show thee the 

house, that thou mayst not mistake that however. 
5 (teag: Show me the door and I'll find the house myself.) 

COL. c: Prithee do. Lieutenant. 

(teag: Oh, sir, what is Mrs. tay's name?) 

COL. c: Have a care, teague. Thou shalt find us in the Temple. 

[Exeunt lieutenant and teague] "Now, blunt, have I another de- 
10 sign." 

"col. b: What further design canst thou have?" 

"col. c: Why, by this means I may chance to see these women again, 

and get into their acquaintance." 

"col. b: With both, man?" 
15 "col. c: Slife, thou art jealous. Dost love either of them?" 

"col. b: Nay, I can't tell. All is not as 'twas." 

"col. c: Like a man that is not well, and yet knows not what ails 


"col. b: Thou art something near the matter; but I'll cure myself 
20 with considering, that no woman can ever care for me." 

"col. c: And why, prithee?" 

"col. b: Because I can say nothing to them." 

"col. c: The less thou canst say, they'll like thee the better. She'll 

think 'tis love that has ham-stringed thy tongue. Besides, man, a 
25 woman can't abide anything in the house should talk, but she and her 

parrot. Why, is it the cavalier girl thou likest?" 

"col. b: Canst thou love any of the other breed?" 

"col. c: Not honestly, — yet I confess that ill-begotten, pretty rascal 

never looked towards me but she scattered sparks as fast as kindling 
30 charcoal; thine's grown already to an honest flame. Come blunt, 

when teague comes we will resolve on something." [Exeunt] 

[Scene 2] 
Enter arbella and ruth. 

35 "arb: Come now, a word of our own matters. How dost thou hope 
to get the estate again?" 

"ruth: You shall drink first. I was just going to ask you how you 
would get yours again; you are as fast as if you were under covert- 

40 "arb: But I have more hopes than thou hast." 

"ruth: Not a scruple more, if there were but scales that could weigh 
hopes; for these rascals must be hanged before either of us shall get 


our own. You may eat and drink out of yours, as I do, and be a so- 
journer with ABEL." t 

*'arb: I am hampered, but I'll not entangle myself with Mr. abel's 
conjugal cords. Nay — I am more hampered than thou thinkest; for 
5 if thou art in as bad case as I — you understand me — hold up thy 

"ruth: Behold. [Riith holds up her finger] Nay, I'll ne'er forsake thee. 
If I were not smitten, I would persuade myself to be in love, if 'twere 
but to bear thee company." 

10 "are: Dear girl! Hark ye, Ruth, the composition-day made an end 
of all; all's gone." 

"ruth: Nay, that fatal day put me into the condition of a compounder 
too; there was my heart brought under sequestration." 
"arb: That day, wench?" 

15 "ruth: Yes, that very day, with two or three forcible looks, 'twas 
driven an inch at least out of its old place; sense or reason can't find 
the way to't now." 

"arb: That day, that very day! If you and I should like the same 

20 "ruth: Fie upon't. As I live, thou makest me start; now dare not I 
ask which thou likest." 

"arb: Would they were now to come in, that we might watch one 
another's eyes, and discover by signs. I am not able to ask thee, 

25 "ruth: Nor I to tell thee. Shall we go ask lilly which it is?" 

"arb: Out upon him. Nay, there's no need of stars; we know our- 
selves, if we durst speak." 

"ruth: Pish, I'll speak. If it be the same, we'll draw cuts." 
"arb: No, hark ye, ruth, do you act them both, for you saw their 

30 several humors; and then watch my eyes, where I appear most con- 
cerned. I can't dissemble, for my heart." 

"ruth : I dare swear that will hinder thee to dissemble indeed. — Come, 
have at you then; I'll speak as if I were before the honorable rascals. 
And first for my brave blunt colonel, who, hating to take the oath, 

35 cried out with a brave scorn — such as made thee in love, I hope — 
Hang yourselves, rascals; the time will come when those that dare be 
honest will be rewarded. Don't I act him bravely, don't I act him 
"arb: Oh, admirably well! Dear wench! Do it once more. 

40 "ruth: Nay, nay, I must do the other now." 

"arb: No, no. This once more, dear girl, and I'll act the other for 


"ruth: No, forsooth; I'll spare your pains. We are right; no need of 

cuts. Send thee good luck with him I acted, and wish me well with 

my merry Colonel, that shall act his own part." 

"are: And a thousand good lucks attend thee. We have saved our 
5 blushes admirably well, and relieved our hearts from hard duty. — 

But mum! See where the mother comes, and with her son, a true ex- 
emplification or duplicate of the original day. Now for a charge." 
Enter mrs. day and abel. 

"ruth: Stand fair. The enemy draws up." 
10 MRS. d: Well, Mrs. arbella, I hope you have considered enough by 

this time. You need not use so much consideration for your own good; 

you may have your estate, and you may have abel; and you may be 

worse offered. — abel, tell her your mind; ne'er stand, shilly-shally — 

RUTH, does she incline, or is she wilfull? 
15 ruth: I was just about the point when your honor interrupted us. — 

One word in your ladyship's ear. 

ABEL: You see, forsooth, that I am somebody, though you make no- 
body of me. You see I can prevail. Therefore pray say what I shall 

trust to; for I must not stand shilly-shally. 
20 arb: You are hasty, sir. 

abel: I am called upon by important affairs, and therefore I must be 

bold in a fair way to tell you that it lies upon my spirit exceedingly. 

arb: Saffron-posset-drink is very good against the heaviness of the 

25 abel: Nay, forsooth, you do not understand my meaning. 

arb: You do, I hope sir; and 'tis no matter, sir, if one of us know it. 

Enter teague. 

teag: Well now, who are all you? 

arb: What's here? An Irish elder come to examine us all? 
30 teag: Well, now, what is your names, every one? 

ruth: arbella, this is a servant to one of the colonels; upon my life, 

'tis the Irishman that took the covenant the right way. 

arb: Peace. What should it mean? 

teag: Well, cannot some of you all say nothing without speaking? 
35 MRS. d: Why, how now, sauce-box? What would you have? What, 

have you left your manners without? Go out, and fetch 'em in. 

teag: What should I fetch, now? 

MRS. d: D'you know who you speak to, sirrah? 

teag: (Yes I do.) "Well, what are you then? Upon my soul, in my 
40 own country they can tell who I am," (and it is little my own mother 

thought I should speak to the like of you.) 

abel: You must not be so saucy unto her honor. 


teag: Well, I will knock you down, if you be saucy, with my hammer. 

ruth: This is miraculous. 

teag: Is there none of you that I must speak to now? 

arb: [Aside] Now, wench, if he should be sent to us. 
5 teag: Well, I would have one Mrs. tay speak unto me. 

MRS. d: Well, sirrah, I am she; what's your business? 

teag: Oh, so then, are you Mrs. tay? — Well — [Aside] I must look 

well first, and I will set my face "in some worship; yes indeed that I 

will;" and tell her my message. 
10 ''ruth: How the fellow begins to mould himself." 

"arb: And tempers his chops like a hound that has lapped before his 

meat was cold enough." 

"ruth: He looks as if he had some gifts to pour forth; those are Mr. 

day's own white eyes before he begins to say grace. Now for a speech 
15 rattling in his kecher, as if his words stumbled in their way." 

teag: "Well now, I will tell thee, i'faith." My master, the good 

Colonel careless, bid me ask thy good ladyship — upon my soul now, 

the laugh will come upon me. [He laughs always, whe^t he says lady- 
ship or honor] 
20 MRS. d: Sirrah, sirrah! What, were you sent to abuse me? 

ruth: [Aside] As sure as can be. 

teag: "I'faith now," I do not abuse thy good honor, — I cannot help 

my laugh now; I will try again now; I will not think of a kitchen, then, 

(nor a dripping-pan, nor a mustard-pot) — My master would know of 
25 your ladyship — 

MRS. d: Did your master send you to abuse me, you rascal? By my 

honor, sirrah — 

teag: Why dost thou mock thyself, now, joy? 

MRS. d: How, sirrah, do I mock myself? This is some Irish traitor. 
30 teag: I am no traitor, that I am not. I am an Irish rebel. You are 

cozened now. 

MRS. d: Sirrah, sirrah! I will make you know who I am. — An impu- 
dent Irish rascal. 

ABEL: He seemeth a dangerous fellow, and of a bold and seditious 
35 spirit. 

MRS. d: You are a bloody rascal, I warrant ye. 

teag: You are a foolish, brabble-bribble woman, that you are. 

ABEL: Sirrah, we that are at the head of affairs must punish your 

40 teag: (And we that are at the tail of affairs will punish your sauci- 
ness.) "You shall take a knock upon your pate, if you are saucy with 

me, that you shall; you son of a round-head, you." 


MRS. d: You rascally varlet, get you out of my doors. 

teag: Will I not give you my message then? 

MRS. d: Get you out, rascal. 

teag: I prithee let me tell thee my message. 

5 MRS. d: Get you out, I say. 

teag: Well, then, I care not neither; the devil take your ladyship, 
and honorship, and kitchenship "too; there now." [Exit] 

"are: Was there ever such a scene? 'Tis impossible to guess any- 

10 "ruth: Our Colonels have done 't,as sure as thou livest,to make them- 
selves sport; being all the revenge that is in their power. Look, look, 
how her honor trots about, like a beast stung with flies." 
MRS. d: How the villain has distempered me! Out upon't, too, that 
I have let the rascal go unpunished; and you [to abel] can stand by 

15 like a sheep. Run after him then, and stop him. I'll have him laid by 
the heels, and make him confess who sent him to abuse me. Call help 
as you go. Make haste, I say. [Exit abel] 

ruth: 'Slid, arbella, run after him, and save the poor fellow, for 
sake's sake; stop abel by any means, that he may 'scape. 

20 arb: Keep his dam off, and let me alone with the puppy. [Exit] 

ruth: Fear not. 

MRS. d: 'Uds my life, the rascal has heated me — Now I think on't, 
I'll go myself, and see it done; a saucy villain. 
ruth: But I must needs acquaint your honor with one thing first, 

25 concerning Mrs. arbella. 

MRS. d: As soon as ever I have done. Is't good news, wench? 
ruth: Most excellent. If you go out you may spoil all. Such a dis- 
covery I have made, that you will bless the accident that angered you. 
MRS. d: Quickly then, girl. 

30 ruth: When you sent abel after the Irishman, Mrs. arbella's color 
'came and went in her face; and at last, not able to stay, she slunk away 
after him, for fear the Irishman should hurt him. She stole away, and 
blushed the prettiest. 
MRS. d: I protest he may be hurt indeed; I'll run myself, too. 

35 ruth: By no means, forsooth; "nor is there any need on't, for she re- 
solved to stop him before he could get near the Irishman. She has 
done it, upon my life; and if you should go out you might spoil the 
kindest encounter that the loving abel is ever like to have." 
"MRS. d: Art sure of this?" 

40 "ruth: If you do not find she has stopped him, let me ever have your 
hatred. Pray credit me." 
"MRS. d: I do, I do believe thee. Come, we'll go in where I use to read. 


There thou shalt tell me all the particulars, and the manner of it. I 
warrant 'twas pretty to observe." 

"ruth: Oh, 'twas a thousand pities you did not see't. When abel 
walked away so bravely, and foolishly, after this wild Irishman, she 
5 stole such kind looks from her own eyes; and having robbed herself, 
sent them after her own abel; and then — " 

MRS. d: Come, good wench, I'll go in, and hear it all at large. It shall 
be the best tale thou hast told these two days. Come, come, I long to 
hear all. abel, for his part, needs no help by this time. Come, good 
10 wench. [Exit] 

"ruth: So far I am right; fortune take care for future things." [Exit] 

[Scene 3] 
Enter colonel blunt, as taken by bailiffs. 
COL. b: At whose suit, rascals? 
15 1 bail: You shall know that time enough. 

COL. b: Time enough, dogs! Must I wait your leisures? 
1 bail: Oh, you are a dangerous man; 'tis such traitors as you that 
disturb the peace of the nation. 

COL. B : Take that, rascal. [Kicking him] If I had anything at liberty 
20 besides my foot, I would bestow it on you. 

1 bail: You shall pay dearly for this kick, before you are let loose, 
and give good special bail. Mark that, my surly companion. We 
have you fast. 

COL. b: 'Tis well, rogues, you caught me conveniently; had I been 
25 aware, I would have made some of your scurvy souls my special bail. 
"1 bail: Oh, 'tis a bloody-minded man! I'll warrant ye this vile 
cavalier has eat many a child." 

"coL. b: I could gnaw a piece or two of you, rascals." 
Enter colonel careless. 
30 COL. c: How is this! blunt in hold! You catchpole, let go your 
prey, or — [Draws, and blunt in the scuffle throws up the heels of one of 
them, and gets a sword, and helps to drive them of] 
1 bail: Murder! Murder! 

COL. b: Faith, careless, this was worth thanks. I was fairly going. 
35 COL. c: What was the matter, man? 

COL. b: Why, an action or two for free quarter, now made trover and 
conversion. Nay, I believe we shall be sued with an action of trespass, 
for every field we have marched over; and be indicted for riots, for 
going at unseasonable hours, above two in a company. 
40 Enter teague, running. 

COL. c: Well, come, let's away. 
teag: Now upon my soul, run as I do. The men in red coats are. 


running too, "that they are," and they cry murder, murder. I never 
heard such a noise in Ireland (in all my life,) "that's true, too." 
COL. c: 'Slife, we must shift several ways. Farewell. If we scape, we 
meet at night. I shall take heed now. 
5 teag: Shall I tell of Mrs. tay now? 

COL. c: Oh, good TEAGUE, no time for messages. {Exeunt several ways] 

A noise within. Enter bailiffs and soldiers. 
3 bail: This way, this way! Oh villains! My neighbor Swash is 
hurt dangerously. Come, good soldiers, follow, follow. [Exeunt] 

10 Reenter careless and teague. 

col. c: I am quite out of breath, and the bloodhounds are in full cry 
upon a burning scent. Plague on 'em, what a noise the kennels 
make! What door's this that graciously stands a little open? What 
an ass am I to ask! league, scout abroad. If anything happens ex- 

15 traordinary, observe this door; there you shall find me. Be careful. 
Now, by your favor, landlord, as unknown. [Exeuiit severally] 

[Scene 4] 
Enter mrs. day and obadiah. 
20 MRS. d: It was well observed, obadiah, to bring the parties to me 

first. 'Tis your master's will that I should, as I may say, prepare 

matters for him. In truth, in truth, I have too great a burden upon me; 

yet for the public good I am content to undergo it. 

ob: I shall with sincere care present unto your honor, from time to 
25 time, such negotiations as I may discreetly presume may be material 

for your honor's inspection. 

MRS. d: It will become you so to do. You have the present that came 


ob: Yes, and please your honor. The gentlewoman, concerning her 
30 brother's release, hath also sent in a piece of plate. 

MRS. d: It's very well. 

ob: But the man without, about a bargain of the king's land, is come 


MRS. d: Bid him be gone; I'll not speak with him. He does not un- 
35 derstand himself. 

ob: I shall intimate so much to him. 

As OBADIAH goes out, colonel careless meets him and tumbles him back. 

MRS. d: Why, how now? What rude companion's this? What would 

you have? What's your business? What's the matter? Who sent 
40 you? Who d'you belong to? Who — 

col. c: Hold, hold, if you mean to be answered to all these interroga- 
tories. You see I resolve to be your companion. I am a man; there's 


no great matter; nobody sent me; nor I belong to nobody. I think I 

have answered to the chief heads. 

MRS. d: Thou hast committed murder, for aught I know. Howis't, 


5 COL. c: [yl5?(/f] Ha! What luck have I to fall into the territories of my 

old kitchen acquaintance. I'll proceed upon the strength of Teague's 

message, tho I had no answer. 

MRS. d: Howis't, man? 

ob: Truly, he came forcibly upon me, and I fear has bruised some 
10 intellectuals within my stomach. 

MRS. d: Go in, and take some Irish slat by way of prevention, and 

keep yourself warm. [Exit obadiah] Now sir, have you any business, 

that you came in so rudely, as if you did not know who you came to? 

How came you in. Sir Royster? Was not the porter at the gate? 
15 COL. c: No, truly, the gate kept itself, and stood gaping as if it had a 

mind to speak, and say, I pray, come in. 

MRS. d: Did it so, sir? And what have you to say? 

COL. c: [Aside] Ay, there's the point; either she does not or will not 

know me. What should I say? How dull am I! Pox on't, this wit is 
20 like a common friend; when one has need on him he won't come near 


MRS. d: Sir, are you studying for an invention? For aught I know 

you have done some mischief, and 'twere well to secure you. 

COL. c: [Aside] So, that's well; 'twas pretty to fall into the head- 
25 quarters of the enemy. 

MRS. d: Nay, 'tis e'en so. I'll fetch those that shall examine you. 

COL. c: Stay, thou mighty states- woman. I did but give you 

time to see if your memory would be so honest as to tell you who 

I am. 
30 MRS. d: What d'you mean, sauce-box? 

COL. c: There's a word, yet, of thy former employments, that 

sauce. You and I have been acquainted. 

MRS. d: I do not use to have acquaintance with cavaliers. 

COL. c: Nor I with Committee-men's utensils; "but in diebus 
35 illis, you were not so honorable, nor I a malignant. Lord, lord, 

you are horrible forgetful; pride comes with godliness and good 

clothes." What, you think I should not know you, because you are 

disguised with curled hair, and white gloves? Alas! I know you as 

well as if you were in your Sabbath day's cinnamon waistcoat, "with 
40 a silver edging round the skirt." 

MRS. d: How, sirrah? 

COL. c: And with your fair hands bathed in lather; or, Avith 


your fragrant breath, driving the fleeting amber grease ofiF from the 

waving kitchen-stuff. 

MRS. d: Oh, you are an impudent cavalier! I remember you now, 

indeed; but I'll — 
5 COL. c: Nay, but hark you, the now honorable non obstante past 

conditions. Did I not send my footman, an Irishman, with a civil 

message to you? Why all this strangeness, then? 

MRS. d: How, how, how's this! Was't you that sent the rascal 

to abuse me? Was't so? 
10 COL. c: How now! What, matters grow worse and worse! 

MRS. d: I'll teach you to abuse those that are in authority. 

Within there, who's within! 

COL. c: 'Slife, I'll stop your mouth if you raise an alarm. 

[She cries out, and he stops her mouth] 
15 MRS. d: Stop my mouth, sirrah! Whoo, whoo, ho! 

COL. c: Yes, stop your mouth. What, are you good at a whoa-bub, ha? 

Enter ruth. 

ruth: What's the matter, forsooth? 

MRS. d: The matter! Why, here's a rude cavalier has broke into 
20 my house. 'Twas he too that sent the Irish rascal to abuse me within 

my own walls. Call your father, that he may grant his order to 

secure him. 'Tis a dangerous fellow. 

COL. c: Nay, good pretty gentlewoman, spare your motion. — 

[Aside] What must become of me? teague has made some strange 
25 mistake. 

ruth: [Aside] 'Tis he! What shall I do! Now invention be equal 

to my love. — Why, your ladyship will spoil all. I sent for this gentle- 
man, and enjoined him secrecy, even to you yourself, till I had made 

his way. Oh, fie upon't, I am to blame. But in truth I did not think 
30 he would have come these two hours. 

COL. c: [Aside] I dare swear she did not. I might very probably 

not have come at all. 

ruth: How came you to come so soon, sir? 'Twas three hours 

before you appointed. 
35 COL. c: [Aside] Hey day! I shall be made believe I came hither 

on purpose, presently. 

ruth: 'Twas upon a message of his to me, and please your honor, 

to make his desires known to your ladyship, that he had considered 

on't, and was resolved to take the covenant, and give you five hundred 
40 pounds to make his peace, and bring his business about again, that 

he may be admitted in his first condition. 

COL. c: What's this? — D'ye hear, pretty gentlewoman? 


ruth: Well, well, I know your mind: I have done your business. 

MRS. d: Oh, his stomach's come down! 

ruth: Sweeten him again, and leave him to me; I warrant you the 

five hundred pounds, and — [She whispers] 
5 COL. c: [Aside] Now I have found it. This pretty wench has a 

mind to be left alone with me, at her peril. 

MRS. d: I understand thee. — Well, sir, I can pass by rudeness, 

when I am informed there was no intention of it. I leave you and my 

daughter to beget a right understanding. [Exit mrs. day] 

10 COL. c: [Aside] We should beget sons and daughters sooner. What 

does all this mean? 

ruth: I am sorry, sir, that your love for me should make you thus 


COL. c: That's more than you know; but you had a mind to be 
15 left along with me, that's certain. 

ruth: 'Tis too plain, sir; you'd never have run yourself into this 

danger, else. 

COL. c: Nay, now you're out. The danger run after me. 

ruth: You may dissemble. 
20 COL. c: Why, 'tis the proper business here. But we lose time. You 

and I are left to beget a right understanding. Come, which way? 

ruth: Whither? 

COL. c: To your chamber, or closet. 

ruth: But I am engaged you shall take the covenant. 
25 COL. c: No, I never swear when I am bid. 

ruth: But you would do as bad? 

COL. c: That's not against my principles. 

ruth: Thank you for your fair opinion, good Signior Principle. 

There lies your way, sir. However, I will own so much kindness 
30 for you, that I repent not the civility I have done, to free you from 

the trouble you were like to fall into. Make a leg, if you please, and 

cry Thank you. And so, the gentlewoman that desired to be left 

alone with you, desires to be left alone with herself, she being taught 

a right understanding of you. 
35 COL. c: No, I am riveted; nor shall you march off thus with flying 

colors. My pretty commander-in-chief, let us parley a little farther, 

and but lay down ingenuously the true state of our treaty. The 

business in short is this:swe dififer, seemingly, upon two evils, and 

mine the least, and therefore to be chosen; you had better take me, 
40 than I the covenant. 

ruth: We'll excuse one another. 

COL. c: You would not have me take the covenant, then? 


ruth: No, I did but try you. I forgive your idle looseness, for that 

firm virtue. Be constant to your fair principles, in spite of fortune. 

COL, c: What's this got into petticoats! — "but d'ye hear! I'll not 

excuse you from my proposition, notwithstanding my release. Come, 
5 we are half way to a right understanding — nay, I do love thee." 

"ruth: Love virtue. You have but here and there a patch of it; 

y'are ragged still." 

COL. c: Are you not the Committee day's daughter? 

ruth: Yes. What then? 
10 COL. c: Then am I thankful. I had no defence against thee and 

matrimony, but thy own father and mother, which are a perfect 

Committee to my nature. 

"i^uth: Why, are you sure I would have matched with a malignant, 

not a compounder neither?" 
15 "coL. c: Nay, I would have made thee a jointure against my will. 

Methinks it were but as reasonable, that I should do something 

for my jointure; but by the way of matrimony honestly to increase 

your generation — this, to tell you truth, is against my conscience." 

"ruth: Yet you would beget right understandings." 
20 "coL. c: Yes, I would have 'em all bastards." 

"ruth: And me a whore." 

"coL. c: That's a coarse name; but 'tis not fit a Committee-man's 

daughter should be too honest, to the reproach of her father and 

25 ruth: When the quarrel of this nation is reconciled, you and I shall 

agree. Till when, sir — 

Enter teague. 

teag: Are you here, then? Upon my soul the good Colonel blunt 

is overtaken again now, and carried to the devil, "that he is, i'faith 
30 now." 

COL. c: How, taken and carried to the devil! 

teag: He desired to go to the devil, "that he did." I wonder of my 

soul he was not afraid of that. 

COL. c: I understand it now. What mischief's this? 
35 ruth: You seem troubled, sir. 

COL. c: I have but a life to lose, and that I am weary of. Come, 


ruth: Hold! You shant go before I know the business. What d'ye 

talk of? 
40 COL. c: My friend, my dearest friend, is caught up by rascally 

bailiffs, and carried to the Devil-Tavern. Pray let me go. 

ruth: Stay but a minute, if you have any kindness for me. 


COL. c: Yes, I do love you. 

ruth: Perhaps I may serve your friend. — 
Enter arbella. 

Oh, ARBELLA, I was going to seek you. 

5 arb: What's the matter? 

ruth: The colonel which thou likest is taken by bailiffs; there's 

his friend, too, almost distracted. You know the mercy of these 


arb: What dost thou tell me? I am ready to sink down! 
10 ruth: Compose yourself, and help him nobly. You have no way, but 

to smile upon abel, and get him to bail him. 
Enter abel and obadiah. 

are: Look where he and obadiah come. Sent hither by Providence. 

— Oh Mr. ABEL, where have you been this long time? Can you 
15 find of your heart to keep thus out of my sight? 

abel: Assuredly some important affairs constrained my absence, as 

OBADIAH can testify, bona fide. 

(teag: The devil break your bones a Friday.) 

ob: I can do so verily, myself being a material party. 
20 COL. c: Pox on 'em, how slow they speak! 

(teag: Speak faster.) 

arb: Well, well, you shall go no more out of my sight. I'll not be 

satisfied with your bona fide's. I have some occasions that call me 

to go a little way; you shall e'en go with me, and good obadiah 
25 too. You shall not deny me anything. 

abel: It is not meet I should. I am exceedingly exalted, obadiah 

thou shalt have the best bargain of all my tenants. 

"ob: I am thankful." 

"col. c: [Aside] What may this mean?" 
30 arb : ruth, how shall we do to keep thy swift mother from pursuing us? 

ruth: Let me alone. As I go by the parlor, where she sits, big 

with expectation, I'll give her a whisper, that we are going to fetch 

the very five hundred pounds. 

arb: How can that be? 
35 ruth: No question, now. — Will you march, sir? 

col. c: Whither? 

ruth: Lord, how dull these men in love are! — Why, to your friend. 

no more words. 

col. c: I will stare upon thee, though, [Exeunt] 



Scene I 

Enter colonel blunt, brought in by bailiffs. 

1 bail: Ay, ay, we thought how well you'd get bail. ' 

5 COL. b: Why, you unconscionable rascal, are you angry that I am un- 
lucky, or do you want some fees? I'll perish in a dungeon,, "before I'll 
consume with throwing sops to such curs," (before I will give you a 

1 bail: Choose, choose. Come, along with him. 
COL. b: I'll not go your pace, neither, rascals; I'll go softly, if it 

10 be but to hinder you from taking up some other honest gentleman. 
"1 bail: Very well, surly sir. We shall carry you where you shall 
not be troubled what pace to walk. You'll find a large bill. Blood 
is dear." 
"col. b: Nor yours, is it? A farthing a pint were very dear for the 

15 best blood you have." 

Enter arbella, ruth, abel, colonel careless, and obadiah. 

1 bail: How now! Are these any of your friends? 

COL. b: Never, if you see women. That's a rule. 

arb: [To abel] Nay, you need have no scruple; 'tis a near kins- 

20 man of mine. You do not think, I hope, that I would let you suffer — 
you — that must be nearer than a kinsman to me. 
abel: But my mother doth not know it. 

arb: If that be all, leave it to me and ruth. We'll fix you 
harmless. Besides, I cannot marry, if my kinsman be in prison; he 

25 must convey my estate, as you appoint, for 'tis all in him. We must 
please him. 

abel: The consideration of that doth convince me. obadiah, 
'tis necessary for us to set at liberty this gentleman, being a trustee 
for Mrs. arbella's estate. Tell 'em, therefore, that you and I will 

30 bail this gentleman — and — d'ye hear, tell 'em who I am. 

ob: I shall. — Gentlemen, this is the honorable Mr. abel day, 
the first-born of the honorable Mr. day. Chairman of the Committee 
of Sequestration; and I myself by name obadiah, and clerk to the 
said honorable committee. 

35 1 bail: Well, sir, we know Mr. day, and Mr. abel. 

abel: Yes, that's I; and I will bail this gentleman. I believe 
you dare not except against my bail. Nay, you shall have obadiah's, 
too, one that the state trusts. 
1 bail: With all our hearts, sir. — But there are charges to be paid. 


arb: Here, obadiah, take this purse and discharge them, and 
give the bailiffs twenty shillings to drink. 
COL. c: This is miraculous! 

1 bail: a brave lady! — I'faith, mistress, we'll drink your health. 
5 ABEL: She's to be my wife, as sure as you are here. What say you to 
that, now? 

1 bail: [Aside] That's impossible. Here's something more in this. 
— Honorable Mr. abel, the sheriff's deputy is hard by in another 
room, if you please to go thither and give your bail, sir. 
10 abel: Well, show us the way, and let him know who I am. 


col. c: Hark ye, pretty Mrs. ruth, if you were not a committee- 
man's daughter, and so consequently against monarchy, two princes 

should have you and that gentlewoman. 
15 ruth: No, no, you'll serve my turn; I am not ambitious. 

COL. c: Do but swear then, that thou art not the issue of Mr. 

day; and tho' I know 'tis a lie, I'll be content to be cozened, and 


ruth: Fie, fie! You can't abide taking of oaths. Look, look, 
20 how your friend and mine take aim at one another. Is he smitten? 

COL. c: Cupid hath not such another wounded subject; nay, and 

is vexed he is in love, too. Troth, 'tis partly my own case. 

ruth: Peace. She begins, as needs require. 

arb: You are free, sir. 
25 COL. b: Not so free as you think. 

arb: What hinders it? 

COL. b: Nothing, that I'll tell you. 

arb: Why, sir? 

COL. b: You'll laugh at me. 
30 arb: Have you perceived me apt to commit such a rudeness? 

Pray let me know it. 

COL. b: Upon two conditions you shall know it. 

arb: Well! Make your own laws. 

COL. b: First, I thank ye; y'have freed me nobly. Pray believe 
35 it; you have this acknowledgment from an honest heart, one that 

would crack a string for you. That's one thing. 

arb: Well! The other. 

COL. b: The other is only, that I may stand so ready, that I 

may be gone just as I have told it you; together with your promise 
40 not to call me back; and upon these terms I give you leave to laugh 

when I am gone, careless, come stand ready, that, at the sign 

given, we may vanish together. 


ruth: If you please sir, when you are ready to start, I'll cry 

one, two, three, and away. 

COL. b: Be pleased to forebear, good smart gentlewoman. You 

have leave to jeer, when I am gone, and I am just going. By your 
5 spleen's leave, a little patience. 

are: Prithee, peace. 

ruth: I shall contain, sir. 

COL. b: That's much for a woman to do. 

arb: Now, sir, perform your promise. 
10 COL. b: careless, have you done with your woman? 

COL. c: Madam — 

COL. b: Nay, I have thanked her already. Prithee, no more of 

that dull way of gratitude. Stand ready, man; yet nearer the door — 

so. Now my misfortune that I promised to discover, is, that I love 
15 you above my sense or reason. So farewell, and laugh. Come, 


COL. c: Ladies, our lives are yours; "be but so kind as to believe 

it, till you have something to command." [Exeunt] 

ruth: Was there ever such humour? 
20 ARB : As I live, his confession shows nobly. 

ruth: It shows madly, I am sure. An ill-bred fellow, not endure a 

woman to laugh at him. 

arb: He's honest, I dare swear. 

ruth: That's more than I dare swear for my colonel. 
25 arb: Out upon him. 

ruth: Nay, 'tis but for want of a good example; I'll make him so. 

arb: But d'ye hear, ruth, we were horribly to blame, that we 

did not enquire where they lodged, under pretence of sending to them 

about their own benefits. 
30 ruth: "Why, thy whimsical colonel discharged himself ofif like a gun. 

There was no time between the flashing in the pan and the going 

off, to ask a question. But hark ye." I have an invention upon the 

old account of the five hundred pounds, which shall make abel send 

his pursuivant, obadiah, to look for 'em. 
35 arb: Excellent! The trout abel will bite immediately at that bait 

"The message shall be as from his Master day. Senior, to come and 

speak with him. They'll think presently 'tis about their composition, 

and come certainly. In the meantime we'll prepare them with 

counter expectations." 

40 Enter abel and obadiah. 

ruth: You have it; peace. See where abel and the gentle 'squire 


of low degree, obadiah, approach, having newly entered themselves 
into bonds. 

arb: Which I'll be sure to tell his mother, if he be ever more 
5 ruth: And that he's turned an arrant cavalier, by bailing one of 
the brood. 

ABEL: I have, according to your desires, given freedom to your 
kinsman and trustee; I suppose he doth perceive that you may have 
power, in right of me. 

10 arb: Good Mr. abel, I am sincerely beholden to you, and your 

ruth: Oh, fie upon't, brother, I did forget to acquaint you with a 
business before the gentlemen went. Oh me, what a sieve-like memory 
have I! 'Twas an important affair, too. 

15 abel: If you discover it to me, I shall render you my opinion 
upon the whole. 

ruth: The two gentlemen have repented of their obstinacy, and 
would now present five hundred pounds to your good honorable 
mother, to stand their friend, that they may be permitted to take the 

20 covenant; and we, negligent we, have let them go, before we knew 
where to send for them. 

abel: That was the want of being used to important affairs. It 
is ill to neglect the accepting of their conversion, together with their 

25 ruth: Well, there is but one way. "Do you send obadiah, in your 
father's name, to desire them both to come to his house about some 
business that will be for their good; but no more, for then they'll 
take it ill, for they enjoined us secrecy. And when they come, let us 
alone." obadiah may inquire them out "at some tavern." 

30 ob: The bailiffs did say they were gone to the Devil-"Tavern, to 
pay a reckoning." 

abel: Hasten thither, good obadiah, as if you had met my honor- 
able father, and desire them to come unto his house, about an impor- 
tant affair that is for their good. 

35 ob: I shall use expedition. [Exit] 

arb: And we will hasten "home, lest the gentlemen should be 
before us, and not know how to address their offers; and then we 
will hasten" our being united in the bonds of matrimony. 

40 arb : Soft and fair goes far. [Exeunt] 


[Scene 2] 
Enter the two colonels and teague, at the Tavern. 

COL. c: Did ever man get away so crafty from the thing he liked? 

Terrible business! Afraid to tell a woman what she desired to hear. 
5 "I pray heartily that the boys do not come to the knowledge of thy 

famous retreat; we shall be followed by those small birds, as you 

have seen an owl pursued." 

"coL. b: I shall break some of their wings then." 

COL. c: To leave a handsome woman! A woman that came to be 
10 bound body for body for thee! One that does that which no woman 

will hardly do again." 

COL. b: What's that? 

COL. c: Love thee, and thy blunt humor; a mere chance, man; 

"a thing besides all the fortunate stars." (Come teague, give us a 
15 song.) 

(teague: I am a cup too low.) 

(coL. c: Here, then. [Gives him a glass]) 

(teag: I should like to wet t'other eye.) 

(col. c: Here, then.) 

20 (S O N G by teague) 

(Last Fatric k-msiss night, 'bove all days in the year, 
I set out for London before I got there; 
But when I took leave of my own natural shore. 
Oh, whillil-a-lu, I did screech, bawl, and roar.) 

25 (I did wake in the morning, while yet it was night. 

And could not see one bit of land, but was quite out of sight. 
So, with tumbling and tossing, and jolting poor teague 
My stomach was sea-sick in less than a league.) 

(At Chester, to show my high birth, and great mind, 
30 I took a place in the coach, but walked in it behind. 

The seas they did roar, and the winds were uncivil; 
And, upon my soul, I thought we were all blown to the devil.) 

(At Coventry next, where you see peeping tom, 
Who was killed for a look at the Duchess's bum; 
35 But when her grace rid on her saddle all bare. 

Devil burn me, no wonder that old Snob did stare.) 

"col. b: You practice your wit to no purpose. I am not to be 
persuaded to lie still, like a jack-a-lent, to be cast at; I had rather 


be a wisp hung up for a woman to scold at, than a fixed lover for 'em 

to point at. Your squib began to hiss." 
Enter obadiah. 

COL. c: Peace, man, here's Jupiter's Mercury. Is his message to us, 
5 trow? 

ob: Gentlemen, you are opportunely overtaken and found out. 

COL. b: How's this? 

ob: I come unto you in the name of the honorable Mr. day, who 

desires to speak with you both about some important afifair, which is 
10 conducing for your good. 

COL. b: What train is this? 

COL. c: Peace. Let us not be rash. — teague! 

"teag: Well then." 

COL. c: [Aside] Were it not possible that you could entertain 
15 this fellow in the next room, till he were pretty drunk? 

teag: I warrant you that now. I will make him and myself too 

drunk, for thy sweet sake. 

COL. c: Be sure, teague. — Some business, sir, that will take 

us up a very little time to finish, makes us desire your patience till 
20 we despatch it. In the mean time, sir, do us the favor as to call for 

a glass of sack, in the next room, teague shall wait upon you, and 

drink your master's health. 

ob: It needeth not, nor do I use to drink healths. 

COL. c: None but your master's, sir, and that by way of remem- 
25 brance. 

ob: We that have the affairs of state under our tuition cannot 

long delay; my presence may be required for the carrying on the work. 

COL. c: Nay, sir, it shall not exceed above a quarter of an hour; 

perhaps we'll wait upon you to Mr. day presently. Pray sir, drink 
30 but one glass or two. We would wait upon you ourselves, but that 

would hinder us from going with you. 

ob: Upon that consideration I shall attend a little. 

COL. c: Go wait upon him. — Now, teague, or never. 

teag: I will make him so drunk as can be, upon my soul. 
35 [Exeunt teague &" obadiah] 

COL. b: What a devil should this message mean? 

COL. c: 'Tis too plain. This cream of committee rascals, who has 

better intelligence than a state-secretary, has heard of his son abel's 

being hampered, in the cause of the wicked, and in revenge would 
40 entice us to perdition. 

COL. b: If teague could be so fortunate as to make him drunk, 

we might know all. 


"col. c: If the close-hearted rogue will not be open-mouthed, 

we'll leave him pawned for all our scores, and stufiF his pockets with 

blank commissions." 

"col. b: Only fill up one with his master's name." 
5 "col. c: And another with his wife's name for adjutant general, 

together with a bill of ammunition hid under day's house, and make 

i-t be digged down, with scandal of delinquency. A rascal, to think 

to invite us into Newgate!" 

"col. b: Well, we must resolve what to do." 
10 "col. c: I have a fancy come into my head, that may produce an 

admirable scene." 

"col. b: Come, let's hear." 

"col. c: 'Tis upon supposition, that teague makes him drunk; 

and, by the way, 'tis a good omen that we have no sober apparition 
15 in that wavering posture of frailty. We'll send him home in a sedan, 

and cause him to be delivered in that good-natured condition to 

the ill-natured rascal, his master." 

"col. b: It will be excellent. How I pray for teague to be 

20 Enter musician. 

Mus: Gentlemen, will you have any music? 

COL. b: Prithee no, we are out of tune. 

COL. c: Pish! We shall never be out of humor. "Dost hear? Canst 

sing us a malignant sonnet?" 
25 "mus: I can sing many songs. You seem honest gentlemen." 

"col. c: Cavaliers, thou meanest. Sing without any apprehension." 

"S N G" 
"Now the veil is pulled off, and this pitiful nation 
Too late sees the gull of a Kirk-reformation. 
30 How all things that should be 

Are turned topsy-turvy; 
The freedom we have, 
Our prince made a slave, 
And the masters must now turn the waiters. 
35 The great ones obey 

While the rascals do sway, 
And the loyal to rebels are traitors."* 

"The pulpits are crowded with tongues of their own. 
And the preachers spiritual committee-men grown; 
40 To denounce sequestration 

On souls of old fashion. 


They rail and they pray, 

Till they quite preach away 
The wealth that was once the wise city's. 

The courts in the hall, 
5 Where the lawyers did bawl. 

Are turned into pious committees." 

"col. c: This song has raised my spirits. Here, sing always for 
the king. I would have every man in his way do something for 
him; I would have fiddlers sing for him, parsons pray for him, men 
10 fight for him, women scold for him, and children cry for him; and 
according to this rule, teague is drinking for him. But see, " 

Enter teague and obadiah, drunk. 

, See and rejoice where teague with laurel comes. 

COL. b: And the vanquished obadiah, with nothing fixed about 
15 him but his eyes. 

"col. c: Stay. Sing another song in the behalf of compounders, 
if thou canst, that the vapors of the wine may have full power to 
ascend up to the firmament of his truly reformed coxcomb." 

"SONG [Obadiah repeating with him]" 

20 "Come, drawer, some wine. 

Let it sparkle and shine, 
And make its own drops fall a bounding; 

Like the hearts it makes light. 

Let it flow pure and right, 
25 And a plague take all kind of compounding." 

"We'll not be too wise. 

Nor try to advise. 
How to suffer and gravely despair: 

For wisdom and parts 
30 Sit brooding on hearts. 

And there they catch nothing but care." 

"Not a thought shall come in 

But what brings our king. 
Let committees be damned with their gain. 
35 We'll send by this stealth 

To our hearts our king's health, 
And there in despite he shall reign." 


"col. c: This is sport beyond modest hopes. How I will adore 
sack, that can force this fellow to religion. The rogue is full of wor- 

teag: Well, now, upon my soul, Mr. obadiah sings as well as 
5 the man now. Come then, will you sing an Irish song after me? 
ob: I will sing Irish for the king now. 

teag: I will sing for the king as well as you. Hark you now. 
[He sings an Irish song, and obadiah tries] 


10 (Oh, TEADY-foley, you are my darling, 

You are my looking-glass, both night and morning. 
I had rather have you without a farthing, 
Than bryan gaulichar, with his house and garden. 

Lai, ral lidy.) 

IS (Oh, NOR AH, agra, I do not doubt you, 

And for that reason I kiss and mouth you; 
And if there was ten and twenty about you, 
Devil burn me, if I would go without you. 

Lai, ral lidy.) 

20 ob: That is too hard stuflf. I cannot do these and these material 

teag: Here now, we will take some snufif for the king — so, there, 
lay it upon your hand; put one of your noses to it now; so — snufif 
now. Upon my soul, Mr. obed. Commit, will make a brave Irishman. 

25 (Put this in your other nose.) 

ob: I will snufif for the king no more. Good Mr. teague, give me 
some more sack, and sing English, for my money. 
teag: I will tell you that Irish is as good and better too. Come 
now, we will dance. Can you play an Irish tune? "Can you play 

30 this now?" 

"mus: No sir, but I can play you an excellent Irish jig." 

''[They dance]" 

"col. c: This is beyond thought! So, this motion, like a tumbled 

barrel, has set the liquor working again. Now for a chair." 

35 "col. b: Drawer! Who waits there?" 

"Enter drawer." 
"drawer: What d'you want, gentlemen?" 

"col. b: Call a chair presently, and bring it into this room. 
Here's a friend of ours overtaken." 
40 "drawer: I go, sir." "[ExitY' 



"col. c: teague, thou hast done miracles. Thou art a good 
omen, and hast vanquished the cause, in the overthrow of this counter- 
feit rascal, its true epitome. And now, teague, according to the 
words of condemnation, we'll send him to the place from whence he 
5 came." 

"teag: Upon my soul, he's dead now. Shall I howl, as we do in 

I r eland f^ 

"col. c: How's that, teague?" 

"teag: Yo! Yo!" ''[Howls.]'' 

10 "col. c: No more, good teague, lest you give an alarm to the 
enemy. — " 

''Enter chairmen with a chair '^ 
" — Welcome, honest fellow. By your looks you seem so." 
"1 chair: How, Colonel, have you forgot your poor soldier ned?" 

15 "col. c: Why, this is a miraculous pursuit of good fortune! 
Honest ned. What, turned chairman?" 

"1 chair: Anything for bread and butter, noble Colonel. Shall I 
have the honor to carry you?" 
"col. c: No, ned. Is thy fellow honest?" 

20 "1 chair: Or I'd be hanged before I'd carry an inch with him." 
"col. c: 'Tis well.— Look you, ned, that fellow is Mr. day, the 
committee-man's clerk, whom with wonderful industry we have made 
drunk. Just as he is, pack him up in thy chair, and immediately 
transport him to his master day's house, and in the very hall turn 

25 him out. There's half a crown for thy pains." 

"1 chair: If I fail, say ned's a coward. Come, shall we put 

your short- winged worship into your mew? Come along." 

"[They put him in and go oulY' 

"col. c: Farewell, ned. teague, come, you must carry some 

30 money to one or two confident friends of mine. We'll pay our reckon- 
ing at the bar, then go home and laugh; and, if you will, plot some 
way to see our enchanting females once more. They make me so 
long—" "[Exeunt]'' 

[Scene 3] 
35 Enter MR. day and MRS. day. 

MRS. d: Dispatch quickly, I say; and say I said it. Many things 

fall between the lip and the cup. 

MR. d: Nay, duck, let thee alone for counsel. Ah, if thou hadst 

been a man! 
40 MRS. d: Why then you would have wanted a woman, and a 

helper too. 


MR. d: I profess so I should, and a notable one too, though I 
say't before thy face, and that's no ill one. 

MRS. d: Come, come, you are wandering from the matter. Dis- 
patch the marriage, I say, whilst she is thus taken with our abel. 
5 Women are uncertain. 

MR. d: How if she should be coy? 

MRS. d: You are at your ifs again. If she be foolish, tell her 
plainly what she must trust to; no abel, no land; plain dealing's 
a jewel. Have you the writings drawn as I advised you, which she 

10 must sign? 

MR. d: Ay, I warrant you, duck; here, here they be. Oh, she 

has a brave estate! 

MRS. d: What news you have! 

MR. d: Look you, wife, — [day pulls out writings , and lays out his keys] 

15 MRS. d: Pish, teach your grannam to spin; let me see. 

Enter a servant. 
SERv: May it please your honor, your good neighbor Zachariah is 
departing this troublesome life. He has made your honor his executor, 
but cannot depart till he has seen your honors. 
20 MR. d: Alas, alas! A good man will leave us. Come, good duck, let 
us hasten. Where is obadiah, to usher you? 

MRS. d: Why, obadiah! — A varlet, to be out of the way at such a 
time; truly he moveth my wrath. Come, husband, along. I'll take 
ABEL in his place. [Exeunt] 

25 Enter ruth and arbella. 

ruth: What's the meaning of this alarm? There's some carrion 

discovered; the crows are all gone upon a sudden. 

arb: The She-DAY called most fiercely for obadiah. Look here, 

RUTH, what they have left behind. 
30 ruth: As I live, it is the day's bunch of keys, which he always 

keeps so closely. — Well — if thou hast any mettle, now's the time. 

are: To do what? 

ruth: To fly out of Egypt. 

Enter abel. 
35 arb: Peace. We are betrayed else. As sure as can be, wench, 

he's come back for the keys. 

ruth: We'll forswear 'em in confident words, and no less confident 


abel: An important affair hath called my honorable father and 
40 mother forth, and in the absence of obadiah I am enforced to attend 


their honors; "and therefore I conceived it right and meet to acquaint 
you with it; lest in my absence you might have apprehended that 
some mischance had befallen my person. Therefore I desire you to 
receive consolation." And so I bid you heartily farewell. [£a;i7] 

5 ARB. Given from his mouth, this tenth of April. — He put me in 
a cruel fright. 

ruth: "As I live, I am all over such a dew as hangs about a 
still, when 'tis first set agoing; but this is better and better. There 
was never such an opportunity to break prison. I know the very 

10 places, the holes in his closet where the composition of your estate 
lies, and where the deeds of my own estate lie. I have cast my eye 
upon them often, when I have gone up to him in errands, and to 
call him to dinner." If I miss, hang me. 
arb: But whither shall we go? 

15 ruth: To a friend of mine, and of my father's, that lives near the 
Temple, and will harbor us. Fear not; and so set up for ourselves, 
and get our colonels. 

arb: Nay, the mischief that I have done, and the condition we 
are in, makes me as ready as thou art. Come, let's about it. 

20 ruth: Stay. Do you stand sentinel here; that's the closet window; 
I'll call for thee if I need thee; and be sure to give notice of any news 
of the enemy. [Exit ruth] 

are: I warrant thee. — "May but this departing brother have 
so much string of life left him, as may tie this expecting day to his 

25 bedside, till we have committed this honest robbery." — Hark — 
What's that? — This apprehension can make a noise when there is 

ruth: I have 'em, I have 'em! Nay, the whole covey, and his 
seal at arms, bearing a dog's leg. [Calls from above] 

30 are: Come, make haste then. 

"ruth: As I live, here's a letter counterfeited from the king, to 
the rascal his rebellious subject day; with a remembrance to his 
discreet wife. Nay, what dost thou think there are? I'll but cast 
my eye upon these papers, that were schismatical, and lay in separa- 

35 tion. What dost thou think they are?" 

"are: I can't tell. Nay, prithee, come away." 

"ruth: Out upon the precise baboon! They are letters from two 
wenches; one for an increase of salary to maintain his unlawful issue; 
another from a wench that had more conscience than he, and refused 

40 to take the physic that he prescribed to take away a natural tympany." 
arb: Nay, prithee despatch." 


"ruth: Here be abundance more. Come, run up, and help me 
carry 'em. We'll take the whole index of his rogueries. We shall be 
furnished with such arms, ofifensive and defensive, that we shall 
never need sue to him for a league. Come, make haste." 
5 "arb: I come." "[Exit]" 

"Enter chairmen with obadiah in the Chair." 
"1 chair: Come, open this portable tomb. 'Slife, here's nothing 
in it; ferret him, or he'll never bolt. It looks as if we had brought a 
basket hare, to be set down and hunted." 

10 "2 chair: He's dead." 

"1 chair: Dead drunk, thou meanest. Turn up the chair, and 
turn him out, as they do badgers caught in a sack. Shake, man. So, 
now he sallies." 
obadiah tumbles out of the chair, and sings as at the tavern, some of 

15 the song. — Then enter arbella and rvih, from robbing the closet." 
"arb: What's this? We are undone." 
"ob: Mr, teague! Will you dance, Mr. teague?" 
"ruth: Put a good face on't, or give me the van. Oh, 'tis oba- 
diah fallen." 

20 "arb: Nay, and cannot rise, neither. D'ye hear, honest friends, 
was this zealous gentleman your freight?" 

"1 chair: Yes, mistress. Two honest gentlemen took care of him, 
seeing him thus devoutly overtaken." 
"arb: It was our colonels, that thought day sent him to trapan 

25 them, as sure as can be." 

"ruth: No doubt on't. How unmerciful they are, arbella, 
every minute to do something or other to increase our whimsy. — 
Are you paid?" 
"1 chair: Yes, mistress. — 'Slife, we shall be paid double." 

30 "ruth: Stay. Where did you leave the two careful minded 

"1 chair: Why do you ask, mistress?" 
"ruth: For no hurt. Canst carry us near the plaojb?" 
"1 chair: Yes, mistress. — Sure there's no danger in women." 

35 "arb. [To ruth] What dost mean?" 

"ruth: The same that thou dost. To see 'em, if I can. — Is't 

near 2^emple-Bar?" "[obadiah sings]" 

"1 chair: Hard by, mistress." 

"ruth: Come in. There's my friend lies hard by. Fear not; we 

40 can never fly so concealed. — May that nightingale continue his note 
till the owl day returns to hear him. — Come, honest fellow, stop over 
against the place where you left the gentlemen. We have some busi- 

101] "THE COMMITTEE" 101 

ness with them; we'll pay you, and they'll thank you. So good night, 

Mr. DAY." 

"1 chair: I warrant y6u, mistress. Come along, tom." [Exeunt all 
but obadiah] 
5 ob: Some small beer, good Mr. teague. 

Enter as returned, mr. day, mrs. day, and abel. 

MR. d: He made a good end, and departed as unto sleep. 

MRS. d: I'll assure you his wife took on grievously; I do not 

believe she'll marry this half year. 
10 MR. d: He died full of exhortation. Ha, duck, shouldst be sorry to 

lose me? 

MRS. d: Lose you! I warrant you you'll live as long as a better 

thing. — [obadiah sings] — Ah, lord, what's that? 

MR. d: How now! What's this? How! — obadiah — and in a 
15 drunken distemper, assuredly! 

MRS. d: Oh fie upon't! Who would have believed that we should 

have lived to have seen obadiah overcome with the creature? — 

— where have you been, sirrah? 

ob: D — d — drinking the ki — ki — king's health. 
20 MR. d: Oh terrible! Some disgrace put upon us, and shame 

brought within our walls. I'll go lock up my neighbor's will, and 

come down and show him a reproof. — How — how — I cannot feel 

my keys — nor — [He feels in his pocket and leaps up] — hear 'em jingle. 

Didst thou see my keys, duck? 
25 MRS. d: Duck me no ducks. I see your keys! See a fool's head 

of your own. Had I kept them, I warrant they had been forthcoming. 

You are so slappish, you throw 'em up and down at your tail. Why 

don't you go look if you have left them in the door? 

MR. d: I go, I go, duck. [Exit] 

30 MRS. d: Here, abel, take up this fallen creature, who has left 

his uprightness; carry him to a bed, and when he is returned to 

himself, I will exhort him. 

abel: He is exceedingly overwhelmed. [He goes to lift him up] 

ob: Stand away, I say, and give me some sack, that I may drink 
35 a health to the king, and let committees be damned with their gain. 

[obadiah sings Teady-Foley] Where's Mr. teague? 

Enter mr. day. 
MR. d: Undone, undone! Robbed, robbed! The door's left open, 
and all my writings and papers stolen. Undone, undone! — ruth! 
40 ruth! 

MRS. d: Why ruth, I say! Thieves, thieves! 


Enter servant. 

SERV: What's the matter! Forsooth, here has been no thieves. 

I have not been a minute out of the house. 

MRS. d: Where's ruth, and Mrs. arbella? 

SERv: I have not seen them a pretty while. 
5 MR. d: 'Tis they have robbed me, and taken away the writings 

of both their estates. Undone, undone! 

MRS. d: [To abel] This came of staying for you, coxcomb; we 

had come back sooner else. You slow drone, we must be undone for 

your dulness. 
10 ob: Be not in wrath. 

MRS. d: I'll wrSth you, ye rascal you. I'll teach you, you drunken 

rascal, and you sober dull man. 

ob: Your feet are swift and violent; their motion will make them 

15 MRS. d: D'ye lie too, ye drunken rascal? 

MR. d: Nay, patience, good duck, and let's lay out for these 

women; they are the thieves. 

MRS. d: 'Twas you that left your keys upon the table to tempt 

them. Ye need cry, good duck, be patient. Bring in the drunken 
20 rascal, ye booby. When he is sober, he may discover something. 

Come, take him up. I'll have 'em hunted. 

[Exeunt mr. day and mrs. day] 

abel: I rejoice yet in the midst of my sufferings, that my mistress 

saw not my rebukes. Come, obadiah, I pray raise yourself upon 
25 your feet, and walk. 

ob: Have you taken the covenant? That's the question. 

abel: Yea. 

ob: And will you drink a health to the king? That's t'other 
30 question. 

abel: Make not thyself a scorn. 

ob: Scorn in my face! Void, young Satan. 

abel: I pray you, walk in; I shall be assisting. 

ob: Stand off, and you shall perceive by my steadfast going, 
35 that I am not drunk. Look ye now — so, softly, softly; gently, good 

obadiah, gently and steadily, for fear it should be said that thou 

art in drink. So, gently and uprightly, obadiah [He moves his legs, 

but keeps in the same place] 

abel: You do not move. 
40 ob: Then I stand still, as fast as you go. 

103] "THE COMMITTEE" 103 

Enter mrs. day. 

MRS. d: What, stay all day? [To abel] There's for you, sir; you 
are a sweet youth to leave in trust. [7"o obadiah] Along, you drunken 
rascal. I'll set you both forward. 
5 ob: The Philistines are upon us, and day is broke loose from 
darkness. High keeping has made her fierce. 

[She beats them ojff] 
MRS. d: Out, you drunken rascal. I'll make you move, you beast. 


10 A C T V 

Scene 1 
"Enter bookseller and bailiffs, having laid hold on teague." 

"book: Come along, sir; I'll teach you to take covenants." 

"teag: Will you teach me then? Did I not take it then? Why 
15 will you teach me, now?" 

"book: You shall pay dearly for the blows you struck me, my 

wild Irish; by Saint Patrick, you shall." 

"teag: What would you have now to do with Saint Patrick? 

He will scorn your covenant." 
20 "book: I'll put you, sir, where you shall have worse liquor than 

your bonny-clabber." 

"teag: Bonny-clabber! By my godship's hand, now, you are a 

rascal if you do not love bonny-clabber, and I will break your pate if 

you will not let me go to my master." 
25 "book: Oh, you are an impudent rascal. Come, away with him." 

"Enter colonel careless." 

"col. c: How now! Hold, my friend. Whither do you carry 

my servant?" 

"book: I have arrested him, sir, for striking me, and taking 
30 away my books." 

"col. c: What has he taken away?" 

"book: Nay, the value of the thing is not much; 'twas the 

covenant, sir." 

"teag: Well, I did take the covenant, and my master took it 
35 from me; and we have taken the covenant then, have we not?" 

"col. c: Here, honest fellow, here's more than thy covenant's 

worth. Here, baili£fs, here's for you to drink." 

"book: Well, sir, you seem an honest gentleman; for your sake, 

and in hopes of your custom, I release him." 
40 "1 bail: Thank ye, noble sir." 

[Exeunt bookseller and bailiffs]" 


COL. c: "Farewell, my noble friends. — So — d'ye hear, teague, 

pray take no more covenants." — Have you paid the money I sent 

you with? 

teag: Yes; but I will carry no more, look you there now. 
5 COL. c: Why, teague? 

teag: God fa' my soul, now, I shall run away with it. 

COL. c: Pish, thou art too honest. 

teag: That I am too, upon my soul now; but the devil is not 

honest, that he is not. He would not let me alone when I was going; 
10 but he made me go to this little long place, and t'other little long 

place; and my soul was carrying me to Ireland, for he made me go 

by a dirty place like a lough, now; and therefore I know now it was 

the way to Ireland. Then I would stand still, and then he would 

make me go on; and then I would go to one side, and he would make 
15 me go to t'other side. And then I got a little farther, and did run 

then; and upon my soul the devil could not catch me; and then I did 

pay the money. But I will carry no more money, now, that I will not. 

COL. c: But thou shalt, teague, when I have more to send. Thou 

art proof now against temptations. 
20 teag: Well, then, if you send me with money again, and if I do 

not come to thee upon the time, the devil will make me be gone 

then with the money. Here's a paper for thee; 'tis a quit way. 


COL. c: That's well said, teague. — [Reads] 
25 Enter mr. day, obadiah, and soldiers. 

ob: See, sir. Providence hath directed us; there is one of them 

that clothed me with shame, and the most malignant among the 


MR. d: Soldiers, seize him. I charge him with treason. Here's a 
30 warrant to the keeper, as I told you. 

"1 soldier.: Nay, no resistance now." 

COL. c: What's the matter, rascals? 

MR. d: You shall know that to your cost hereafter. Away with 

35 COL. c: teague, tell 'em I shall not come home tonight. I am 


teag: I prithee, ben't engaged. 

COL. c: Gentlemen, I am guilty of nothing, that I know of. 

MR. d: That will appear, sir. — Away with him. 
40 teag: What will you do with my master now? 

MR. d: Be quiet, sir, or you shall go with him. 

teag: That I will, for all you now, (you old fool). 

105] "THE COMMITTEE" 105 

COL. c: TEAGUE, come hither. 
(teag: Sir?) 

(col. c: [Whispers] Here, take this key, open my bureau, and 
burn all the papers you find there; and here, burn this letter.) 
5 teag: (Pray, give me that pretty, clean letter, to send my 
mother.) "Must I not go with you, then?" 
COL. c: No no. Be sure to do as I tell you. 

MR. d: Away with him. We will be avenged on the scorner; and 
I'll go home and tell my duck this part of my good fortune. [Exeunt] 

10 "Enter chairmen with a Sedan. The women come out.'^ 

"ruth: So far we are right. — Now, honest fellow, stop over, and 
tell the two gentlemen, that we two women desire to speak with them." 

Enter colonel blunt and lieutenant. 
"1 chair: See, mistress, here's one of them." 

15 ruth: That's thy Colonel, arbella. Catch him quickly, or he'll fly 

arb: What should I do? 

ruth: Put forth some good words, "as they use to shake oats 
whem they go to catch a skittish jade." Advance. 

20 arb: Sir. 

COL. b: Lady — 'tis she. 

arb: I wish, sir, that my friend and I had some conveniency of 

speaking with you. We now want the assistance of some noble 


25 COL. b: Then I am happy. Bring me but to do something for 
you; I would have my actions talk, not I. My friend will be here 
immediately. I dare speak for him too — pardon my last confusion, 
but what I told you was as true as if I had stayed — 
ruth: To make affidavit of it. 

30 COL. b: Good overcharged gentlewoman, spare me but a little. 
arb: Prithee peace. Canst thou be merry, and we in this con- 
dition? — Sir, I do believe you noble, truly worthy. If we might 
withdraw any whither out of sight, I would acquaint you with the 

35 lieu: My house, ladies, is at that door, where both the Colonels 
lodge. Pray command it. Colonel careless will immediately be here. 

Enter teague. ^ 

teag: "Well now," (he will not come.) My good master will 
not come. That Commit rogue day has got him with men in red 

40 coats, and he is gone to prison here below this street. He would not 
let me go with him, i'faith, but made me come to tell thee now. 


ruth: Oh my heart. — Tears, by your leave awhile — [Wipes her 
eyes] D'ye hear, arbella, here, take all the trinkets, only the bait 
that I'll use. "Accept of this gentleman's house; there let me find 
thee. I'll try my skill. Nay, talk not." [Exit] 

5 COL. b: careless in prison! Pardon me madam; I must leave 
you for a little while. Pray be confident. "This honest friend of 
mine will use you with all respects till I return." 
arb: What do you mean to do, sir? 
COL. b: I cannot tell; yet I must attempt something. You shall 

10 have a sudden account of all things. You say you dare believe. Pray 
be as good as your word; and whatever accident befalls me, know 
I love you dearly. "Why do you weep?" 
"arb: Do not run yourself into a needless danger." 
"coL. b: How! D'ye weep for me? Pray let me see. Never 

15 woman did so before, that I know of. I am ravished with it; the 
round gaping earth ne'er sucked showers so greedily, as my heart 
drinks these. Pray, if you love me, be but so good and kind as to con- 
fess it." 
"arb: Do not ask what you may tell yourself." 

20 "coL. b: I must go; honor and friendship call me. Here, Lieutenant, 
I never had a jewel but this. Use it as right ones should be used; do 
not breathe upon it, but gaze, as I do — hold — one word more. The 
soldier that you often talked of to me is still honest?" 
"lieu: Most perfectly." 

25 "coL. b: And I may trust him?" 
"lieu: With your life." 

"coL. b: Enough. — Pray let me leave my last looks fixed upon you — 
so, I love you, and am honest. Be careful, good Lieutenant, of this 
treasure — she weeps still" — I cannot go, and yet I must. — [Exit] 

30 lieu: Madam, pray let my house be honored with you. Be confident 
of all respect and faith. 
"arb: What uncertainties pursue my love and fortune." [Exeunt] 

[Scene 2] 
Enter ruth with a soldier. 
35 ruth: Come, give me the bundle; so, now the habit; 'tis well; there's 
for your pains! Be secret, and wait where I appointed you. 
sol: If I fail, may I die in a ditch, and there lie, and outstink it. 

* [Exit] 

ruth: Now for my wild Colonel. "First, here's a note with my lady 

40 day's seal to it, for his release. If that fails — as he that will shoot at 

these rascals must have two strings to his bow — then here's my red- 

1071 "THE COMMITTEE" 107 

coat's skin to disguise him, and a string to draw up a ladder of cords, 
which I have prepared against it grows dark. One of them will hit 
sure. I must have him out, and I must have him when he is out. I 
have no patience to expect." Within there — ho! — 

5 Enter keeper. 

ruth: Have you not a prisoner, sir, in your custody, one Colonel 


keep: Yes, mistress; and committed by your father, Mr. day. 
"ruth: I know it; but there was a mistake in it. Here's a warrant for 

10 his delivery, under his hand and seal." 

"keep: I would willingly obey it, mistress; but there's a genieral order 
come from above, that all the king's party should be kept close, and 
none released but by the state's order." 
"ruth: This goes ill." — May I speak with him, sir? 

15 keep: Very freely, mistress; there's no order to forbid any to come to 
him. To say truth, 'tis the most pleasantest gentleman. — I'll call him 
forth. [Exit] 

ruth: O'my conscience, everything must be in love with him. Now 
for my last hopes; if this fail I'll use the ropes myself. 

20 Enter keeper and careless. 

COL. c: Mr. day's daughter speak with me? 

keeper: Ay, sir, there she is. [Exit] 

ruth: Oh sir, does the name of Mr. day's daughter trouble you? You 

love the gentlewoman, but hate his daughter. 
25 COL. c: Yes, I do love that gentlewoman you speak of most exceed- 

ruth: And the gentlewoman loves you. But what luck this is, that 

day's daughter should ever be with her, to spoil all! 

COL. c: Not a whit, one way; I have a pretty room within, dark, and 
30 convenient. 

ruth: For what? 

COL. c: For you and I to give counter-security for our kindness to one 


ruth: But Mrs. day's daughter will be there too. 
35 COL. c: 'Tis dark. We'll ne'er see her. 

ruth: You care not who you are wicked with; methinks a prison 

should tame you. 

"coL. c: Why, d'ye think a prison takes away blood and fight? As 

long as I am so qualified, I am touchwood, and whenever you bring 
40 fire, I shall fall a burning." 

"ruth: And you would quench it." 


"col. c: And you shall kindle it again." 

"ruth: No, you will be burnt out at last, burnt to a coal, black as 
dishonest love." 

COL. c: Is this your business? Did you come to disturb my contem- 
5 plations with a sermon? Is this all? 

ruth: One thing more. I love you, it's true; but I love you honestly. 
If you know how to love me virtuously, I'll free you from prison, and 
run all fortunes with you. 
COL. c: Yes, I co«ld love thee all manner of ways; if "I could not, 

10 freedom were no bait. Were it from death, I should despise your oflfer, 
to bargain for a lie." — But — 
ruth: Oh noble — but what? 

COL. c: The name of that rascal that got thee; yet I lie too, he ne'er 
got a limb of thee. Pox on't, thy mother was as unlucky to bear thee. 

15 But how shall we salve that? Take off but these incumbrances, and 
I'll purchase thee in thy smock; but to have such a flaw in my title — 
ruth: Can I help nature? 

col. c: Or I honor? Why, hark you now; do but swear me into a pre- 
tence, do but betray me with an oath, that thou wert not begot on 

20 the body of Gillian, my father's kitchen-maid. 
ruth: Who's that? 

col. c: Why, the honorable Mrs. day that now is. 
ruth: Will you believe me if I swear? 
COL. c: Ay that I will, though I know all the while 'tis not true. 

25 ruth: I swear then by all that's good, I am not their daughter. 

COL. c: Poor kind perjured pretty one, I am beholden to thee; wouldst 
damn thyself for me? 

ruth: You are mistaken. I have tried you fully. "You are noble, 
and I hope you love me; be ever firm to virtuous principles." My 

30 name is not so godly a one as ruth, but plain anne, daughter to Sir 
BASIL thorowgood; "one perhaps that you have heard of, since in the 
world he has still had so loud and fair a character," 'tis too long to tell 
you how this day got me, an infant, and my estate, into his power, and 
made me pass for his own daughter, my father dying when I was but 

35 two years old. "This I knew but lately, by an unexpected meeting of 
an ancient servant of my father's." But two hours since, arbella 
and I found an opportunity of stealing away all the writings that be- 
longed to my estate, and her composition. In our flight we met your 
friend, with whom I left her as soon as I had intelligence of your mis- 

40 fortune, to try to get your liberty; which if I can do, you have an es- 
tate, for I have mine." 
COL. c: Thou more than — 

1091 "THE COMMITTEE" 109 

ruth: No, no; no raptures at this time. Here's your disguise, pur- 
chased from a true-hearted red-coat. "Here's a bundle!" Let this line 
down when 'tis almost dark, and you shall draw up a ladder of ropes. 
"If the ladder of ropes be done sooner, I'll send it by a soldier that I 
5 dare trust, and you may. Your window's large enough." As soon as 
you receive it, come down; "if not, when 'tis dusk, let down your line," 
and at the bottom of the window you shall find yours, more than her 
own, not RUTH, but anne. 
COL. c: I'll leap into thy arms. — 

10 ruth: So you may break your neck. If you do, I'll jump too. But 
time steals on our words. Observe all I have told you. So farewell — 
COL. c: Nay, as the good fellows used to say, let us not part with dry 
lips. — One kiss. 
ruth: Not a bit of me, till I am all yours. 

15 COL. c: Your hand then, to show I am grown reasonable. A poor 

ruth: Pish, there's a dirty glove upon't. — 

"col. c: Give me but any naked part, and I'll kiss it as a snail creeps, 
and leave sign where my lips slid along — " 

20 "ruth: Good snail, get out of your hole first. Think of your business. 
So fare—" 

col. c: Nay, prithee be not ashamed that thou art loath to leave me. 
'Slid, I am a man, but I am as arrant a rogue as thy Quondam father 
DAY, if I could not cry to leave thee a brace of minutes. 

25 ruth: Away. We grow foolish — farewell — yet be careful — nay, go in. 
col. c: Do you go first. 
ruth: Nay, fie, go in. 

col. c: We'll fairly, then, divide the victory, and draw off together. — 
So — I will have the last look. [Exeunt severally, looking at one another] 

30 [Scene 3] 

Enter colonel blunt and soldier. 

col. b: No more words; I do believe, nay, I know thou art honest. 

May I live to thank thee better. 

sol: I scorn any encouragement to love my king, or those that serve 
35 him. I took pay under these people, with a design to do him service; 

Lieutenant knows it. 

COL. b: He has told me so. No more words. Thou art a noble fel- 
low. Thou art sure his window's large enough? 

sol: Fear it not. 
40 COL. b: Here then, carry him this ladder of ropes. So. Now give me 

the coat. Say not a word to him, but bid him dispatch when he sees the 


coast clear. He shall be waited for at the bottom of his window. Give 

him thy sword too, if he desires it. 

sol: I'll dispatch it instantly; therefore get to your place. [Exit] 

COL. b: I warrant ye. 
5 Enter teague. 

teag: Have you done everything then? By my soul now, yonder is 

the man with the hard name; that man, now, that I made drunk for 

thee, Mr. tay's rascal. He is coming along there behind, now upon 

my soul, that he is. 
10 COL. b: The rascal comes for some mischief, teague, now or never 

play the man. 

teag: How should I be a man then? 

COL. b: Thy master is never to be got out, if this rogue gets hither; 

meet him therefore, teague, in the most winning manner thou canst, 
15 and make him once more drunk; and it shall be called the second edi- 
tion of OBADIAH, put forth with Irish notes upon him. And if he will 

not go drink with thee — 

teag: I will carry him upon my back-side, if he will not go; and if he 

will not be drunk, I will cut his throat then, that I will, for my sweet 
20 master now that I will. 

COL. b: Dispatch, good teague; and dispatch him too, if he will not 

be conformable; and if thou canst but once more be victorious, bring 

him in triumph to Lieutenant story's. There shall be the general 

rendezvous. Now, or never, teague. 
25 teag: I warrant you, I will get drink into his pate, or I will break it 

for him, that I will, I warrant you. He shall not come after you now. 


"col. b: Good luck go with thee! — The fellow's faithful and stout; 

that fear's over. Now to my station." [Exit] 

30 [Scene 4] 

"colonel careless as in prison." 
"col. c: The time's almost come. How slow it flutters. My desires 
are better winged. How I long to counterfeit a faintness when I come 
to the bottom, and sink into the arms of this dear witty fair! — Ha, 
35 who's this?" 

Enter soldier. 

"sol: Here, sir, here's a ladder of ropes; fasten it to your window, and 
descend. You shall be waited for." 

"col. c: The careful creature has sent it. — But d'ye hear, sir, could 
40 you not spare that implement by your side? It might serve to keep 
off small curs. 

lllj "THE COMMITTEE" 111 

"sol: You'll have no need on't, but there it is. Make haste, the 
coast is clear." [Exit] 

"col. c: Oh this pretty she Captain-General over my soul and body. 
The thought of her musters every faculty I have. She has sent the 
5 ropes, and stays for me. No dancer of the ropes ever slid down with 
that swiftness — or desire of haste — that I will make to thee." [Exii] 

[Scene 5] 
Enter blunt in his soldier's coat. 

"col. b: All's quiet, and the coast clear. So far it goes well; that is 
10 the window; in this nook I'll stand, till I see him coming down." 

[Steps in] 

colonel careless, above, in his soldier's habit, lets down the 
ladder of ropes, and speaks. 

"col. c: I cannot see my North Star that I must sail by; 'tis clouded. 
15 Perhaps she stands close in some corner; I'll not trifle time. All's clear. 

Fortune forbear thy tricks, but for this small occasion." 

Enter blunt. 

col. b: What's! A soldier in the place of careless? I am betrayed, 

but I'll end this rascal's duty. 
20 col. c: How, a soldier! — Betrayed! This rascal shan't laugh at me. 

COL. b: Dog! 

COL. c: How, blunt? 

COL. b: careless! 

COL. c. You guess shrewdly. Plague, what contrivance hath set you 
25 and I a tilting at one another? 

COL. c: The same friend, for aught I know, that furnished you. — This 

kind gentlewoman is ruth still. Ha, here she is. I was just ready to 

be suspicious. 

Enter ruth with a ladder of ropes. 
30 ruth: Who's there? 

COL. c: Two notable charging red-coats. 

ruth: As I live, my heart is at my mouth. 

COL. c: Prithee, let it come to thy lips, that I may kiss it. "What 

have you in your lap?" 
35 ruth: "The ladder of ropes." How in the name of wonder got you 


COL. c: Why, I had the ladder of ropes, and come down by it. 

COL. b: Then the mistake is plainer; 'twas I that sent the soldier with 

the ropes. 
40 ruth: What an escape was this! Come, let's lose no time; here's no 

place to explain matters in. 


COL. c: I will stay to tell thee, that I shall never deserve thee. 
ruth: Tell me so when you have had me a little while. Come, follow 
me. "Put on your plainest garb; not like a dancing master, with your 
toes out. Come along, [ruth pulls their hats over their eyes] Hang 
down your head as if you wanted pay. So." [Exeunt] 

5 [Scene 6] 

Enter MR. day, mrs. day, abel, and mrs. chat. 

MRS. d: Are you sure of this, neighbor chat? 

MRS. ch: I'm as sure of it, as I am that I have a nose to my face. 

MRS. d: Is my — 

10 MR. d: Ay! Is my — 

MRS. d: You may give one leave, methinks, to ask but one question. 
Is my daughter ruth Vv^ith her? 

MRS. CH.: She was not, when I saw Mrs. arbella last. I have not 
been so often at your honor's house, but that I know Mrs. arbella, 

15 the rich heiress, that Mr. abel was to have had, the good gentleman, 
if he has his due. They never suspected me; for I used to buy things 
of my neighbor story, before she married the Lieutenant. And step- 
ping in to see Mrs. story that now is, my neighbor wish-well that 
was, I saw, as I told you, this very Mrs, arbella. And I warrant Mrs. 

20 ruth is not far off. 

MRS. d: Let me advise then, husband. 

MR. d: Do, good duck, I'll warrant 'em — 

MRS. d: You'll warrant, when I have done the business. 

MR. d: I mean so, duck. 

25 MRS. d: Well! Pray spare your meaning, too. First, then, we'll go 
ourselves in person to this story's house, and in the mean time send 
ABEL for soldiers; and when he has brought the soldiers, let them stay 
at the door, and come up himself; and then, if fair means will not do, 
foul shall. 

30 MR. d: Excellent well advised, sweet duck. Ah! Let thee alone. Be 
gone, ABEL, and observe thy mother's directions. Remember the 
place. We'll be revenged for robbing us, and for all their tricks. 
abel: I shall perform it. [Exit] 

MRS. d: Come along, neighbor, and show us the best way; "and by 

35 and by we shall have news from obadiah, who is gone to give the other 
colonel's gaoler a double charge, to keep the wild youth close. Come 
husband, let's hasten." Mrs. chat, the state shall know what good 
service you have done. 
MRS. ch: I thank your honor. [Exeunt] 

113] "THE COMMITTEE" 113 

[Scene 7] 

Enter arbella and lieutenant. 

lieu: Pray, madam, weep no more! Spare your tears till you know 
they have miscarried. 
5 "are: 'Tis a woman, sir, that weeps! We want men's reasons, and 
their courage to practise with." 
"lieu: Look up, madam, and meet your unexpected joys!" 

Enter ruth, colonel careless, and colonel blunt. 

arb: Oh, my dear friend! My dear, dear ruth! 
10 COL. c: Pray, none of these phlegmatic hugs; there, take your colonel; 

my captain and I can hug afresh every minute. 

ruth: When did we hug last, good soldier? 

COL. c: I have done nothing but hug thee in fancy, ever since you, 

ruth, turned annice, 
15 arb: You are welcome, sir; I cannot deny I shared in all your danger. 

"lieu: If she had denied it. Colonel, I would have betrayed her." 

COL. b: I know not what to say, nor how to tell, how dearly, how well 

I love you. 

"arb: Now can't I say I love him; yet I have a mind to tell him too." 
20 "ruth: Keep't in, and choke yourself, or get the rising of the lights." 

"arb: What shall I say?" 

"ruth: Say something, or he'll vanish." 

"col. b: D'ye not believe I love you? Or can't you love me? Not a 

word. — Could you — but — " 
25 arb: No more, I'll save you the labor of courtship, which should be 

too tedious to all plain and honest natures. It is enough; I know you 

love me. 

COL. b: Or may I perish, whilst I am swearing it. 

Enter prentice. 

30 lieu: How now, jack? 

boy: Oh master, undone! Here's Mr. day the committee-man, and 
his fierce wife, come into the shop. Mrs. chat brought them in, and 
they say they will come up. They know that Mrs. arbella, and their 
daughter ruth, is here. Deny 'em if you dare, they say. 

35 lieu: Go down, boy, and tell 'em I'm coming to 'em. [Exit boy] 
"This pure jade, my neighbor chat, has betrayed us. What shall I do? 
I warrant the rascal has soldiers at his heels. I think I could help the 
colonels out at a back door." 
"col. b : I'd rather die by my arbella; now you shall see I love you.'* 

40 "col. c: Nor will I, charles, forsake you, annice." 


ruth: Come, be cheerful. I'll defend you against all the assaults of 

Captain day, and Major-General day, his new-drawn-up wife. Give 

me my ammunition, [To arbella] the papers, woman. So, If I do 

not rout 'em, fall on; let's all die together, and make no more graves 
5 but one. 

COL. b: 'Slife, I love her now, for all she has jeered me so. 

ruth: "Go fetch 'em in, Lieutenant. [Exii lieutenant] Stand you all 

drawn up as my reserve — so — I for the forlorn hope. 

"col. c: That we had teague here! To quarrel with the female 
10 triumphing day, whilst I threw the male day out of the window. Hark, 

I hear the troop marching. I know the she day's stamp, among the 

tramples of a regiment." 

arb: They come, wench. Charge 'em bravely; I'll second thee with 

a volley. 
15 ruth: They'll not stand the first charge, fear not. Now the day 


COL. c: Would 'twere his neck were broke. 

Enter MR. day, and mrs. day. 

MRS. d: AhJ ah! My fine runaways, have I found you ? What, you 
20 think my husband's honor lives without intelligence? Marry come up. 

MR. d: My duck tells you how 'tis — We — 

MRS. d: Why then, let your duck tell 'em how 'tis. Yet, as I was 

saying, you shall perceive we abound in intelligence; else 'twere not 

for us to go about to keep the nation quiet. But if you, Mrs. arbella, 
25 will deliver up what you have stolen, and submit, and return with us, 

and this ungracious ruth. 

ruth: ANNE, if you please. 

MRS. d: Who gave you that name, pray? 

ruth: My godfathers and godmothers in baptism. — Or, forsooth; I 
30 can answer a leaf farther. 

MR. d: Duck, good duck, a word. I do not like this name annice. 

MRS. D : You are ever in a fright, with a shrivelled heart of your own. — 

Well, gentlemen, you are merry. 

are: As newly come out of our wardships. I hope Mr. abel is well. 
35 MRS. d: Yes, he is well; you shall see him presently; yes, you shall see 


COL. c: That is, with myrmidons. Come, good anne, no more delay; 

fall on. 

ruth: Then before the furious abel approaches with his red-coats, 
40 who perhaps are now marching under the conduct of that expert cap- 
tain in weighty matters, know the articles of our treaty are only these: 

this arbella will keep her estate, and not marry abel, but this gentle- 

115] "THE COMMITTEE" 115 

man; and I, anne, daughter to Sir basil thorowgood, and not ruth, 

as has been thought, have taken my own estate, together with this 

gentleman, for better, for worse. We are modest, though thieves; only 

plundered our own. 
5 MRS. d: Yes, gentlewoman, you took something else, and that my 

husband can prove; it may cost you your necks if you do not submit. 

ruth: Truth on't 'tis, we did take something else. 

MRS. d: Oh, did you so? 

ruth: Pray give me leave to speak one word in private with ray 
10 father day? 

MRS. d: Do so, do so; are you going to compound? Oh, 'tis father day, 


ruth: [Takes him aside] D'ye hear, sir; how long is't since you have 

practised physic? 
15 MR. d: Physic! What d'ye mean? 

ruth: I mean physic. Look ye, here's a small prescription of yours. 

Do you know this hand-writing? 

MR. d: I am undone. 

ruth: Here's another upon the same subject. This young one I be- 
20 lieve came into this wicked world for want of your preventing dose; 

it will not be taken now, neither; it seems your wenches are wilful. 

Nay, I do not wonder to see 'em have more conscience than you have. 

MR. d: Peace, good Mrs. anne. I am undone, if you betray me. 

Enter abel. Goes to his father. 
25 abel: The soldiers are come. 

MR. d: Go and send 'em away, abel. Here's no need, no need now. 

MRS. d: Are the soldiers come, abel? 

abel: Yes, but my father biddeth me send them away. 

MR. d: No, not without your opinion, duck; but since they have but 
30 their own, I think, duck, if we were all friends — 

MRS. d: Oh, are you at your ifs again? D'you think they shall make 

a fool of me, though they make an ass of you? Call 'em up, abel, if 

they will not submit. Call up the soldiers, abel. 

ruth: Why, your fierce honor shall know the business that makes the 
35 wise Mr. day inclinable to friendship. 

MR. d: Nay, good sweetheart, come, I pray, let us be friends. 

MRS. d: How's this! What, am I not fit to be trusted now? Have you 

built your credit and reputation upon my council and labors, and am I 

not fit now to be trusted? 
40 MR. d: Nay, good sweet duck, I confess I owe all to thy wisdom. 

Good gentlemen, persuade my duck, that we may be all friends. 


COL. c: Hark you, good gillian day, be not so fierce upon the hus- 
band of thy bosom; 'twas but a small start of frailty. Say it were a 
wench or so? 

ruth: [Aside] As I live, he has hit upon't by chance. Now we shall 
5 have sport. 

MRS. d: How, a wench, a vv^ench! Out upon the hypocrite. A wench! 
Was not I sufl&cient? A wench! I'll be revenged, let him be ashamed 
if he will. Call the soldiers, abel. 
"col. c: Stay, good abel; march not off so hastily." 

10 arb: Soft, gentle abel, or I'll discover, you are in bonds; you shall 
never be released, if you move a step. 

ruth: D'ye hear, Mrs. day, be not so furious; hold your peace. You 
may divulge your husband's shame, if you are so simple, and cast him 
out of authority; nay, and have him tried for his life. Read this. Re- 

15 member too, I know of your bribery and cheating, and something 
else. You guess. Be friends, and forgive one another. Here's a letter 
counterfeited from the king, to bestow preferment upon Mr. day, if 
he would turn honest; by which means, I suppose, you cozened your 
brother cheats; in which he was to remember his service to you. I 

20 believe 'twas your indicting; you are the committee-man. 'Tis your 
best way — nay, never demur — to kiss and be friends. Now, if you can 
contrive handsom.ely to cozen those that cozen all the world, and get 
these gentlemen to come by their estates easily, and without taking 
the covenant, the old sum of five hundred pounds, that I used to talk 

25 of, shall be yours yet. 

MRS. d: We will endeavor. 

ruth: Come, Mrs. arbella, pray let's all be friends. 

arb: With all my heart. 

ruth: Brother abel, the bird is flown; but you shall be released from 

30 your bonds. 

abel: I bear my afflictions as I may. 

Enier teague leading obadiah in a halter and a musician, 
teag: What is this now? Who are you? Well, are not you Mrs. tay? 
Well, I will tell her what I should say now? Shall I then? I will try if 

35 I cannot laugh, too, as I did, "that I will," (or think of the mustard 

COL. c: No, good teague, there's no need of thy message now. But 
why dost thou lead obadiah thus? 
teag: Well, I will hang him presently, that I will. Look you here, 

40 Mrs. TAY, here's your man obadiah; do you see "that now?" He 
would not let me make him drunk, "no more, that he would not." So, 
I did take him in this string, "and I did tell him, if he did make noises, 

117) "THE COMMITTEE" 117 

I would put this knife into him, that I would, upon my soul," (and I am 

going to choke him by the throat). 

COL. b: Honest teague, thy master is beholden to thee in some meas- 
ure for his liberty. 
5 COL. c: TEAGUE, I shall requite thy honesty. 

teag: Well, shall I hang him then? It is a rogue, now, who would not 

be drunk, "that he would not," (for the king). 

ob: I do beseech you, gentlemen, let me not be brought into death. 

(teag: You shall be brought to the gallows, you thief o' the world.) 
10 col. c: No. Poor teague, 'tis enough; we are all friends. Come, let 

him go. 

teag: (Are you all friends?) "Well, he shall go then. — But you shall 

love the king, or I will hang you another time, that I will by my soul." 

(Then here, little obid, take this string, and go hang yourself.) "Well, 
15 look you here now, here is the man that sung you the song, that he is. 

I met him as I came, and I bid him come hither and sing for the king, 

that I did." 

"col. c: [To the musician] D'ye hear, my friend, is any of your 

companions with you?" 
20 "mus: Yes, sir." 

"col. c: As I live, we'll all dance; it shall be the celebration of our 

weddings. Nay, Mr. day, as we hope to continue friends, you and 

your duck shall trip it too." 

"teag: Ay by my soul will we. Obadiah shall be my woman, too, 
25 and you shall dance for the king, that you shall." 

"col. c: Go, and strike up then. No chiding now, Mrs. day. Come, 

you must not be refractory for once." 

MRS. d: Well, husband, since these gentlemen will have it so, and 

that they may perceive we are friends, dance." 
30 "col. b: Now, Mr. day, to your business; get it done as soon as you 

will, the five hundred pounds shall be ready." 

COL. c: "So, friends." Thanks, honest teague; thou shalt flourish in 

a new livery for this. Now, Mrs. annice, I hope you and I may agree 

about kissing, and compound every way. Now, Mr. day, 
35 If you will have good luck in everything. 

Turn cavalier, and cry, God bless the king. [Exeunt] 



But now the greatest thing is left to do, 
More just Committee, to compound with you; 
For, till your equal censures shall be known, 
5 The poet's under sequestration. 

He has no title to his small estate 
Of wit, unless you please to set the rate. 
Accept this half year's purchase of his wit. 
For in the compass of that time 'twas writ. 

10 Not that this is enough; he'll pay you more, 

If you yourselves believe him not too poor. 
For 'tis your judgment gives him wealth; in this, 
He's just as rich as you believe he is. 
Would all Committees could have done like you, 

15 Made men more rich, and by their payments too. 




Page Line 

50 10 give it to you = give it you, 1665, 1710. 

50 19 passed; all editions give past. 

51 GENERAL NO^p:: The editions of 1665 and 1710 are printed in lines of uneven 
length, resembling blank verse form. As there seems to be no metrical scheme followed, how- 
ever, and as the divisions are usually made without any apparent reason, I have abandoned 
this line scheme for the more modern and satisfactory arrangement above. The Bell and E. T. 
editions do likewise. To justify this course, I reproduce below lines 1-8, as arranged in the 
edition of 1665 (the 1710 arrangement is the same). 

Mrs. day: Now out upon't, how dusty 'tis; 

All things consider'd, 'tis better 
Travelling in the Winter; especially for us of the better sort, 
That ride in Coaches; and yet to say truth, warm weather is 
Both pleasant and comfortable: 'Tis a thousand pities 
That fair weather should do any hurt. Well said, honest 
Coachman, thou hast done thy part; My son abel 
Paid for my place at Redding, did he not? 
coach: Yes, and plase you. 
MRS. day: Well, there's something 
Extraordinary to make thee drink. 
51 Scene 1; Seen. 1, 1665; Scene 1, 1710, Bell; omitted, E. T. The Scene is evi- 

dently laid at the stage-depot. 

stage-coachman = hackney-coachman, 1665, 1710, 

an't = and, 1665, 1710. 

Busy=Busie, 1665, 1710. 

fain= feign, 1710. 

the = a, 1710. 

were = was, 1665. 

"What — sometimes" not acted, note that all passages such as this are included 

in the texts, although set off as above. Where passages — or parts of passages — 

are entirely omitted (as in Bell they often are) they will be so noted. 

quite; omitted, 1665, 1710. 

peace! Sir, we = Peace sir — We, 1665. 

for, added by ed. 

thee = you, 1710. 

hour = hours, 1665, 1710. 

wert = we'it be, 1665. 

They were = it was, 1665, 1710. 

clerk, rogues = clerk-rogues, 1665, 1710. 

tale = tail, 1665, 1710, 

heiress, appears as heir throughout 1665. 

Enter teague; teague is spelled teg throughout 1665, 1710. 

and Heaven = and Christ, 1665, 1710; Heaven, E. T., Bell. 

save you all your three faces; 1665 & 1710 have save you all; E. T. has save you all 

three faces; Bell has save all your three faces. I give the complete version. 

/ prithee; omitted. Bell, a thirteen = sixpence, 1665, 1710. 

A thirteen = sixpence, 1665, 1710; omitted, Bell. 












































Line added by theatres, note that where such lines come between two speeches 

by the same person, those two speeches are, in the 1665 & 1710 editions, all one 

speech: i.e., line 13 above is a continuation of line 11, in eds. of 1665 & 1710. 

sixpence = a groat, 1665, 1710. 

"Troth — enough," omitted, Bell. 

here = hither, 1665, 1710. 

That's true, omitted, Bell. 

"faith now," omitted. Bell. 

would = will, Bell. 

"that J cannot," omitted, Bell. 

have went and gone = went, Bell. 

"he — soul," omitted, Bell. 

"that there are," omitted. Bell. 

"that he does," omitted, Bell. 

man, omitted, 1665, 1710. 

"I— then," omitted, Bell. 

"and — TEAGXIE," omitted. Bell. 

J was naked till J got this mantle, that I was; Bell has left me nothing but this mantle. 

"i'failh," omitted. Bell. 

you will be good to poor teague; 1665 & 1710 have thou wouldst be good, too. 

dead=dar'd, E.T.,Bell. 

"if — would," omitted, Bell. 

Lines omitted by BeU. 

Eodt note added by E. T, & Bell. 

"then— too," omitted, Bell. 

Scene 2; no scene divisions except the first of each act are noted in the texts. I 

have added the others throughout. This scene is laid in the home of the days. 

many a good thing; 1665 omits a; 1710 has things. 

To, omitted, 1665, 1710. 

sweets = sweet, 1665, 1710, Bell. 

under hand = under-hand. Bell. 

1665 gives this speech to mr. day, evidently in error. The preceding line (page 

58, line 38) was added by the theatres, and hence does not appear in 1665 or 1710. 

In 1710 Mrs. day's two speeches (as above) are all one; and thought = were, 1665, 


good = poor. Bell. 

ril=I, 1665, 1710. 

have, omitted, 1665, 1710. 

Mrs. arbella, Bell. Others Mistress. 

'Save you = God save you, 1665, 1710. 

for, added by ed. 

Scene 1; so in 1710 & Bell; 1665 has Scene 1; E. T. omits. The Scene is laid in A 


"now — has," omitted. Bell. 

tell him so = will go tell him so too, 1665, 1710. 

teach them to = make them, 1665, 1710. 

"that J will," omitted. Bell. / will (first one) omitted, E. T. 

Enter, 1665; Enter Bookseller, Bell, E. T.; — crying his books, 1710. 

* * * 1665 inserts here, [One cryes books without.] 

"I'faith — sirrah!" omitted, Bell. 

Page Lir 























































































121] "THE COMMITTEE" 121 

"J'faith — now," omitted, Bell. After lake it now, 1665 & 1710 have He throws 
the fellow down, and takes the paper, and rims out. They omit {Oh, — nation) and 


Crying, added by Bell. 

Iris h}nan = Irish, 1665, 1710. 

Scene 2, added by ed.; A Street. 

earnest = comes I, 1665. 

other, omitted, 1665, 1710. 

prices = prizes, 1665. 

miindungus = mundungo, 1665, 1710. 

= "for — soul," omitted. Bell. 
"Where— thou," omitted, E. T. & Bell. 
"Hadst it thou," omitted, E. T. & Bell. 
"Ay — prithee," omitted, Bell. 
time — some, 1710 (misprint?) 
good man of; 1665 omits man. 

Come along, teagtje; 1665 & 1710 have Come along, along. 
Scene 3, added by ed.; the days'. 

Aside inserted by ed. It may be well to note that a number of such stage direc- 
tions were omitted in the editions of 1665 & 1710. I have added them where 
Aside, added by ed. 

consternation = constervation, 1665, 1710. 
dare = care, E. T. 
for, added by ed. 
Aside, added by ed. 

how now! ABEL; E. T. has now now abel/; Bell has how now Abel? 
1665 gives this all as one speech, of Mrs. day's. 
tny brother abel; 1665 has my brethren, abel. 
Scene 4, added by ed. The Committee's chamber. 

The Committee, sitting; 1665 & 1710 have Enter the Committee as to sit; Bell and 
E. T. have simply The Committee. 

The Asides in line 42, p. 67, & lines 1, 7, 9 & 17, p. 68 were added by ed. 
mean? That concerns me = mean that concerns me, 1710; no break ins peeech, 1665. 
"mr. d." In Bell & E. T. line 20 is a continuation of line 16. 
lie = lies, 1665. 

any ofer of taking; 1665 & 1710 have any — For taking, 
he was; omitted, 1665, 1710. 

The Asides in lines 37 & 38, p. 69, & line 9, p. 70 were added by E. T. & Bell. 
Asides in lines 10, 22, 23 & 32, added by E. T. & BeU. 
please, be = please by, 1665, 1710. 
Line added by theatres; appears only in Bell. 
To the Colonels, added by E. T. & Bell. 

This line, through him., is omitted from 1710; evidently a misprint. 
This line does not appear in Bell. Instead is: Why, did I not knock the fellow 

Lines o:nitted. Bell. 
Asides, added by E. T. & Bell. 
4jw/e, added by E. T. & Bell. 

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Page Lii 


















Exeunt &c. 1665 & 1710 omit this and the Enter careless after 15; instead, the 

Colonels go out as in line 22 . 

Porter . 1 665 & 1 7 10 have Keeper. 

"that — soul,^' omitted, Bell. 

{Pay for — along), added by theatres; appears only in Bell. 

Exeunt &c; 1665 & 1710 have Exeunt. E. T. has Exit. Bell omits entirely. 

"yoM — then," omitted. Bell. 

{But how, &c), Bell omits But. 

teague's speech, ending line 32 above, appears in 1665 & 1710 as follows: Upon 

my soul now I have but one six pence that I . Have not: here though. I will give it 

thee for a Curse; there. Mr. Committee, now there is six pence for the Curse 

beforehand . Mr. Committee, and a plague take you all. [Runs out.] 

Exeunt &c.; stage direction does not appear, 1665, 1710. 

To OBADiAH, added by ed. 

Scene 1; 1665 has Seen. 1; 1710 & Bell have Scene 1; E. T. omits. Scene laid in 

Street before Lieutenant Story's house. 

swallow = swallows, E. T. 

Enter teague; the eds. of 1665 & 1710 have the whole scene of lines 32-42 inch, 

above, and lines 1-6 on the following follow line 12 on the following page. 

I.e., teague enters (1665 & 1710) directly after line 12 (next page). 

"bid— and," omitted, Bell. 

make game of him; 1665 & 1710 have mock him. 

"Well now," omitted, Bell. 

asked = did ask, 1665, 1710. 

angered me so = angered me hut, 1665, 1710. note also: In 1665 & 1710 this line 

is a continuation of line 31, preceding page, 

time; Bell has days. 

In 1665 & 1710 teague en teres here (after Gillian.). See note to line 7, above, and 

note on 74:32. 

How is that, now?, omitted, Bell. now = so, 1665, 1710. 

"Well, that I will do," omitted, E. T. & Bell. 

or spits; Bell omits or. 

Scene 2, added by ed. The home of the days. 

baron; 1665 has barne; 1710 has barn. 

I'll not; 1665 & 1710 omit not. 

all's gone; 1665 & 1710 have all's ago. 

to, omitted, 1665. 

BLUNT colonel; Bell has blunt colonel. 

shilly-shally; 1665 & 1710 have shall I? shall /?Bell and E.T. hz.veshilly,shally. 

So also in line 19. 

without speaking; omitted, 1665, 1710. 

<iow«; omitted, 1665, 1710. 

with my hammer; 1665 & 1710 have with me, then. 

Oh, so then, are you Mrs. tay? Bell has: Oh, are you there? With yourself, Mrs. 


Aside added by E. T. & Bell. 

tell her my message; 1665 & 1710 have: tell her then what I will sPeak lo her. 

"I'faith now," omitted, Bell. 

then, omitted, Bell. 





























































123] "THE COMMITTEE" 1 23 

dosl thou mock thyself; Bell & E. T. have do you abuse yourself. 

and, omitted, E. T. & Bell. 

"You — yoM," omitted, Bell. 

that you shall; all editions print that I shall. 

You rascally varlel; 1710 omits you. 

Well then, J care not neither; omitted. Bell. 

To ABEL, added by E. T. & Bell. 

Bell has Exits as above; others have Exeunt after line 11; 1710 and E. T. 

have line 11 an Aside. 

Scene 3, added by ed. A Street. 

Kickitig him, added by E. T. & Bell. 

All editions have throws up one of their keels, instead of throws up the heels of one of 


Scene 4, added by ed. A room in the days' house. 

gentlewoman; 1665 & 1710 have gentleman. 

A side, added by E . T . & Bell . 

slat; 1710 has salt. 
18 & 24 Asides added by E. T. & BeU. 

horrible; Bell has horribly. 

amber grease; 1665, 1710, & Bell have ambergreece; Bell has ambergrease. 

footman; 1665 & 1710 fool man. 

his, omitted, E. T. & Bell. 

Aside, added by E. T. & Bell. 

Aside, added by ed. 

^j«ie, added by E. T. & Bell. 

Aside, added by E. T. & Bell. 

a, added, E. T. & Bell. 

Exit MRS. DAY, added by E. T. & Bell. 

Aside, added by E. T. & Bell. 

"that he did," omitted, Bell. 

of that, omitted, Bell. 

and, added by ed. 

sent hither = should either, 1665, 1710. 

Line added by theatres; appears only in Bell. 

It is; 1665 & 1710 have Is it. 

Scene 1; Scene 1, 1710 & Bell; Seen. 1, 1665; omitted, E. T. Scene, A Jail. 

"before — curs," omitted, Bell. 

bill = bell, 1665, 1710. 
11-15 appears as one speech, 1665, 1710. 

blood = urine, 1665, 1710. 

To ABEL, added by E. T. & Bell. 

Aside, added by E. T.'& Bell. 

that = but, 1665, 1710. 

and I atnjust going; 1665 & 1710 omit /. t 

his pursuivant; omitted. Bell. /or, added by ed. 

arrant; Bell has errant. 

"at some tavern;" omitted. Bell. 

"Tavern — reckoning;" omitted, Bell. 

fair; 1665 has /are. 

Scene 2, added by ed. At the Tavern. 


e Lir 






























































































































crafty; so E. T.; others all have craftily, 
"a thing — stars"; omitted, Bell. 

These lines, from {Come teague &c) through 41, added by theatres, appear 
only in Bell. The song, like all songs in the play, is itaUcized throughout. 
I have not here followed this practice, as it seems unncessary. 
fortunate; 1665 & 1710 have venerate. 
Well then; Bell substitutes Eh! for this. 
Aside, added by E. T. & Bell. 

The Bell text departs rather widely from the others, from line 23 on, for the next 
five pages. Here, lines 23-41 (from "Dost") are omitted from Bell, For 
further notes, see following pages. 
95 1 Bell omits lines 1-11 incl., and lines 16-37, incl. teague and obadiah enter 

immediately after humor, line 23, preceding page. 
his; 1710 has this. 

Bell omits lines 1-3 incl., line 14 following line 23 of the preceding page. 
obadiah; 1665 & 1710 have Obed. Commit. 

1665 & 1710 omit the song, lines 10-19 incl., and 1710 has the obadiah tries, etc.» 
follow mailers, line 21. 
Obed.; E. T. & Bell have Obad. 

Bell omits all after "Can you," &c." line 29, substituting the lines below. Lines 
29 ff . were not acted. See also notes to following page. 
([Dance, obadiah tumbles down]) 
(teag: Obidl Obidl Upon my soul, I believe he's dead.) 
(col. c: Dead!) 

(teag: Dead drunk. Poor Obid is sick, and I will mull him some wine. — I will put some 
spice in't. [Puts some snuff into the funnel] Now I will howl over him as they do in Ire- 
land. Oh, Oh, Oh.) 

(col. c: Peace, teague, you'll alarm the enemy. Here's a shilling. Call a chair, 
and let them carry him in this condition to his kind master. If you meet the ladies, say you 
would speak with them at the lieutenant's.) * 

(teag: Give me the thirteen, and I will give him an Irish sedan.) 
(col. c: How's that?) 

(teag: This way.) {[Takes him by the heels and draws him off]) 

97 6 Note that lines 1-34 incl., with lines 29-40 incl. of preceding page, make up the 

scene omitted by Bell. 
97 12 "Enter Chairmen" &c. 1665 has Enter Sedc^n. 1710 has Enter Chairman with a 


Scene J; added by ed . The days' home . 

the holes in his closet;l665 omits the holes; 1710 has the places in his closet, 
from; 1665 has to. 

schismalical ; 1665 & 1710 have schismatically ; E. T. has schismatial. 
Enter Chairman &c. 1665 has £w/er mth the Sedan. 1710 has Enter chairman 
with the Sedan. * 
100 6 note: Bell omits lines 6 ff., again inserting a different scene, as given below. 

See also notes to following page. These inserted scenes were the ones that 
were acted. 
{Enter teague, with obadiah on his back.) 
(teag.: Long life to you, madam. My master is at Lieutenant Story's, and wants to 
speak to you, and that dear creature too.) 







































125] "THE COMMITTEE" 125 

Page Line 

(arb. & ruth: Conduct us to him.) 

(teag.: Oh, that I will. — Come along, and I will follow you.) 
(Exeunt all but obadiah.) 

This final Exeunt &c. corresponds to the one at the end of the scene which was omitted 
by Bell. See following page. 

OBADIAH tumbles 8iC. 1665 & 1710 omit jome. E.T.&BeU omit robbing. 

To ruth; added, E. T. & Bell. 

stop; 1665 & 1710 = 5/ay. 

Bell omits down to Exeunt. See notes on preceding page. 

and let — gain; Bell & E. T. wrongly mark these words as added by the theatres. 

They appear in both 1665 & 1710. Enter mr. day; 1665 has Enter teague an 

evident error. 

obadiah sings Teady-Foley; so Bell; others omit Teady-Foley. 

To ABEL, added E. T. & Bell. 

You; 1665 & 1710 have yes. 

I'll teach you; 1665 & 1710 have teaching you. 

To ABEL, and (2), To obadiah; added by E. T. & Bell. 

high keeping; 1665 & 1710 have with keeping. 

Scene 1; So 1710 & Bell. 1065 has Seen. l.E.T. omits. A street. 

master; 1665 has mastero. 

As, in the playing versions, ACT V begins at the break in the line 2, in them 

Enter Colonel careless and teague should come there. 

104 31 now, and (42), now; omitted. Bell. Lines 2-6, p. 105 were added by the theatres. 

Hence in 1665 & 1710 Whispers precedes "Must," 6. 

105 10 Enter Chairmen &c . 1665 has £n/er 5e^a«; women come out. 1710 has above. 

E. T. omits a . and the. Bell omits a . and the and has Sedans. 

"Well now," omitted. Bell. 

to = till. Bell. 

wipes her eyes; added, E. T. & Bell. 

gen/Zewan'^; omitted, 1665. 1710. 

/ am ravished; 1665 has which I am ravished. 

to me is still honest? E. T. has to me is he still honest? 

and yet, omitted, 1665, 1710. 

Scene 2, added by ed. The Jail. 

so = he, 1665, 1710. 

and there — out-stink it, omitted. Bell. 

as he = as they, 1665. 

Thorowgood: note variation in spelling of this name. In Act I we have Thor- 

oughgood. Probably we should have the same here. I have thought it best, 

however, to follow the texts. 

Scene 3, added by ed. Outside the Jail. 

back-side; Bell omits -side. 

Scene 4, added by ed. Within the Jail. Note that all of Scene 4, as here arranged, 

and part of Scene 5 were omitted in acting. 

car ef til creature; 1710 inserts her. 

dancer; 1665 & 1710 have danger. 

or desire^ of desire, 1665, 1710. 

Scene 5, added by ed. Before the Jail. 

perhaps she stands close; 1665 & 1710 have only she stands close perhaps. 










































Enter blunt. In acting versions, this follows immediately after Scene 3, the 

intervening lines being omitted. 

the place o/ careless; 1665 & 1710 have place? careless, 7 &c. 

in the name of wonder; 1665 & 1710 have a' God's name. 

plainer; 'twas I that; E. T. has plainer 'twas that I. 

Scene 6, added by ed. The days' Home. 

Line added by E. T. & Bell. 

for I used to buy; 1665 & 1710 have /or — to buy. 

Exit, added by ed. 

Scene 7, added by ed. The Lieutenant's Home. 

To ARBELLA, added by E. T. & Bell. 

day's; 1665 & 1710 have day. 

in baptism; omitted. E. T. & Bell. ^ 

forsooth; 1665 & 1710 have /or Sir. 

nay, never demur &c. 1665 & 1710 have way. Nay, never demur. So. 

Brother abel; 1665 & 1710 have Brethren, abel. 

"that I mil;" omitted, Bell. 

"that now?" omitted, Bell. 

"no more — not," omitted. Bell. 

"and I — my soul," omitted, Bell. 

(and J — by the throat) ; added by theatres; by the throat is found only in Bell. 

"that he would not," omitted. Bell. 

"Well, he — my soul.," omitted, Bell. 

"Well, look— did.," omitted, BeU. 

To the Musician, added, E, T. & Bell. 



















































127] "THE COMMITTEE" 127 


Page Line 

50 5 bracks: broken pieces, bits; in other words, flaws. 

Act I, Scene 1 

51 6 Reading: a parliamentary borough, the county town of Berks County (see 

Berkshire, p. 52, line 5). Reading is about 40 miles from London. 
9 groat: an English coin, worth 4d. 
21 composition: settlement. To effect the composition of one's estate was to 

compound for it (as on page 54, line 1). For all references to compounding, 

sequestration, etc., see Introduction, page 40 ff. 
30 princox: a pert, forward, saucy boy. Here evidently used humorously, to mean 

an active, pushing fellow. The term was ordinarily used to imply contempt. 

52 1 a-gallopping: here merely bustling about. Note the obvious play on the word 

in its use here and in line 2. 
5 Berkshire: or Berks, a county in England, of which Reading is the county seat. 

See note to page 51, line 6. 
29 chopping: strapping, bouncing. 

53 16 humoursome: afflicted by, or full of, one of the four "humours" — the choleric, 

melancholic, sanguine, or phlegmatic — , or, more broadly, moody. Where 
the word humour is given this significance in the play I have retained the 
older spelling. 

17 forward: pushing, impertinent, presuming. 

18 plain: here frank, straightforward. In line 10 it is taken in its literal sense, 

meaning plain of feature, plain looking. 

54 25 notched rascals: notched = with hair cut close, or cropped. The term was one 

of contempt applied to the Roundheads, or Puritans, by the Cavaliers. 

55 8 Heaven save me: here and in a number of other places, the E. T. and Bell texts 

have softened oaths, removed or altered rather crude passages, and, in 
general, improved the tone of the play. Note, in this connection, the 
following pages and lines: 60:22,88:15, 106:37, 111:35. 
8 save you all your three faces: note that in the original this was "save you all." 
I cannot find any record of the use of the complete version elsewhere, but 
undoubtedly it was a popular, mild form of greeting. 

34 Lilly: WUliam Lilly was a popular English astrologer and writer of Howard's 

time. During the Civil Wars he was consulted even by Charles I. 

35 May-pole-house: In England the celebration of May Day included the setting 

up of a May Pole, usually a temporary affair of birch. In the large cities, 
however, the poles were of durable wood, and were erected for permanent 
use. These poles were particularly obnoxious to the Puritans, and were 
forbidden by Parliament in 1644, With the Restoration, however, they 
came back into use. In London the last one was erected in 1661. It was of 
cedar, 134 ft, high, and was erected by 12 British sailors, under the personal 
supervision of James II, then Duke of York, As this pole was erected in 
the Strand, on or about the site of the present Saint-Mary's-in-the-Strand, 
it may well be that the May-pole-house, in which Lilly held forth, was in 
this immediate vicinity, and was so called, of course, because of its proximity 
to the Pole. I can find no more direct explanation than this. 


Page Line 

56 4 simply honest: simple meaning plain, imtutored; and honest in its older, broader 

connotation, upright, virtuous. 

34 low-belled: in hawking, one of the practises was to hunt larks and other small 

birds by means of torches or flares (at night, of course) and small, low and 
sweet toned bells. The idea was that the birds, suddenly aroused by the 
lights and the bells, would become "dared" — i.e., so paralyzed with fear 
as to be half dead. They could then be captured with ease. 

35 dead lark: dead, or dared lark; see above note. 

37 a covenant to be taken: the Solemn League and Covenant; see Introduction, 
page 50. 

Act I, Scene 2 

58 37 harlotrJ^• here about equivalent to wench. The words harlot and harlotry are 

used in their 17th Century significance, which is about that indicated here. 

59 39 put home: strike home, strike straight and true; i.e., go straight to the point. 

60 4 a month's mind: to have a month's mind = to have a fancy, a liking, an inclina- 

9 scribble-scrabble: a reduplicated form of scribble, meaning to write hastUy or 
,, carelessly. Here a hit at Obadiah, as clerk. Note also the reference to 
?' ' ^ Obadiah's "hasty scribble," page 52, line 39. 

12 when you begin to open: open, here, in the sense of opening one's mouth; i. e., 

beginning to speak. Possibly also a play on the word. 

13 apace or softly: quickly or slowly. 
19 gird: a jump or start. 

61 15 played at hard head: an old-time game (if anything so informal may be called a 

game) in which two contestants bumped heads together until one cried 

62 16 bladders to swim with: compare the modern "Water Wings." 

Act II, Scene 1 

36 Mr. Saltmarsh: John Saltmarsh (d. 1647) was a rather prolific mystical writer 

and an ardent preacher of church reform, especially during 1643-1647. 
There is one of his works to which this reference may apply: "England's 
Friend, raised from the grave, giving seasonable advice to the lord generall, 
lieutenant generall, and the councell of warre, being the true copies of three 
letters written by Mr. John Saltmarsh a little before his death." Edited by 
Mary Saltmarsh (his widow), London, 1649. Note also, however, that his 
name is used, without explanation, on the title-pages of two books by 
Samuel Gorton: "Saltmarsh returned from the Dead, In Amice Philalethe," 
&c., London, 1655; and "An Antidote against the Common Plague of the 
World — —intituled Saltmarsh returned from the dead," &c., London, 1659. 
The reference might be to either one of these publications. 

37 Mercurius Britannicus: an early English periodical; "Mercurius Britannicus: 

communicating the afifairs of Great Britaine for the better information of 
the People." Edited T. Audley and M. Nedham. Printed by G. Bishop 
and R. White, London, 1643-1646. 

63 24 catchpoles: warrant officers, bum-bailiffs. These bum-bailiffs were, literally, 

those who caught their victims (usually debtors) in the rear; in other words, 
they were the bailiffs who made arrests, and they were looked down upon 

129] • "THE COMMITTEE" 129 

Page Line 

with contempt, as being of the lowest sort of officers of the law. See also 
"bumbaily rascals," page 73, line 6, and another use of catchpole, page 81, 
line 30. 

Act II, Scene 2 
64 4 mundungus: slang or cant term for mundungo (the word is mundungo in the 

original text), meaning bad-smelling tobacco. 

Act II, Scene 3 

66 12 take off your dog: a reference to the old-time practise of bear-baiting; i.e., setting 

dogs to attack a bear chained to a stake. 

67 14 stay: wait. 

19 Now for an old shoe: a popular catch-phrase; about the same as "Now to get our 
things on." 

Act II, Scene 4 
40 C. K. : evidently Charles the King, or Charles, King. 
69 38 which whelp opens next: open, here, in the sense of giving tongue, as of dogs, in 
hunting, when the game is sighted. 

72 6 there's a Rowland for your Oliver: in the old metrical romances dealing with 

Charlemagne and his court, two of Charlemagne's twelve peers, Rowland 
and Oliver, were so ridiculously and extravagantly treated by the romancers 
that there arose the popular expression, to "give one a Rowland for his 
Oliver," meaning to match one incredible lie with another. Here, probably, 
implying that Careless was giving the Committee as good as they gave. 
1 1 draw 'em and quarter 'em : as the old form of torture, or rather, of capital punish- 
ment, known as drawing and quartering, was usually reserved for traitors, 
the play on the words here is appropriate. To the Roundheads, the Cavaliers 
were traitors. 

73 1 kite: both the kite and the merlin (line 1) were small falconoid birds, and were 

used in certain phases of hawking. 
2 muck-worms : literally, larvae of scarabaeid beetles, most often found under dung- 
heaps; figuratively, the term was applied to misers. It is here used in this 
latter sense. 
6 bimibaily rascals: see note to page 63, line 24. 

13 lie by the heels: to lay by the heels is to manacle, imprison, or confine. 
18 gander faced gag: apparently merely a play on gag, the Porter having gagged 
Teague — i.e., restrained him, by force, from free speech. 

Act in, Scene 1 

74 24 cormorants: the cormorant, a large web-footed water bird, is a voracious fish- 

eater; hence the figurative use of the name, as here, to signify rapacious or 
avaricious persons, gluttons. 

26 agitants: i.e., those who were actively conspiring against the Roundheads. 

27 blank commission: about the same as the more modern blank warrant; a com- 

mission in which some of the items were left blank at the time of issuance, 
to be filled in later by the officer serving the paper. See also page 94, line 

75 25 made a leg; to make a leg means to bow. 

76 8 the Temple : in mediaeval times the London Temple was the home of the Knights 

Templars, situated near the junction of Fleet Street and the Strand. By 
Howard's time, however, as now, the Temple Round Church was the only 


Page Line 

remnant of this older London Temple, the rest of the site being occupied by 
the Inner and Middle Temple, two buildings belonging respectively to the 
legal societies of the same name, and constituting two of the four Inns of 
Court (the other two being Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn). The Inner and 
Middle Temple were occupied mostly by lawyers and barristers. See 
also the note to Temple Bar, page 100, line 37. 

Act III, Scene 2 
76 38 under covert-baron : in the condition of a woman who is protected by her husband. 
41 scruple: an obvious play on the word; literally, an apothecaries' weight ( = 20 gr., 
or J^ oz.). Here used both literally and figuratively. 

78 23 saffron-posset-drink: the dried, orange colored stigmas of the saffron plant 

were formerly in high repute as a medicinal stimulant. Posset was a drink 
made of hot milk, curdled with liquor, sweetened, spiced, and often thick- 
ened, as with bread. 

79 1 with my hammer: no apparent meaning, unless Teague came on the stage here 

carrying a hammer. 
2 m^aculous: extraordinary, beyond belief; the word was used more loosely 
than now. 

10 mould himself: literally, put himself into shape; here probably prepare himself, 

or possibly, preen himself. 

11 tempers his chops: to temper one's chops is, literally, to cool one's b'ps or mouth 

(jaws) by licking. Here the expression means that Teague was hesitating, 
thinking things over, before going on. 

15 rattling in his kecher : I find no trace of kecher except as a verb meaning to cough 
unceasingly. I think this word should be keeker (shorter form of keckhorn), 
a provincial term for the windpipe. 

29 Irish traitor: if this and "Irish rebel" (line 30) are specific references, they prob- 
ably have to do with the Irish troubles which began in 1641, under Charles I, 
developed into the Irish War of 1641-3, and lasted until, in 1649, Cromwell 
began and, in 1650-1652, Ireton and Ludlow finished, the subjugation of 
the rebels. See any complete history of England. 

37 brabble-bribble (usually found bribble-brabble) : a reduplicated form of brabble, 
meaning vain chatter or wrangling. Here used as an adjective, "one given 
to—," &c 

80 18 'Slid: (See also 'Slife, page 72, line 18, and 'Uds my life, page 80, line 22): in 

all of these the contracted form stands for God's. The expressions were 
rather vulgar exclamations or expletives than oaths. 

Act hi, Scene 3 

81 24 conveniently: unaware; i.e., conveniently for the bailifis. 

27 has eat many a child: one of the many barbarous practises credited to the 
Cavaliers by the Roundheads, in the wild tales of the period. 

36 an action for free quarter: I can find no explanation for this phrase. 

36 trover: an action to recover the value of personal property which another has 
wrongfully converted to his own use. 

82 3 shift several ways: escape in different directions. 

Act III, Scene 4 

83 9 has bruised some intellectuals: merely pompous language, so far as I am able to 

















131] "THE COMMITTEE" 131 

Irish slat: Irish slate, or slat, consisting of powdered alum slate, was formerly 

much used as a medicine. 
Sir Royster: Sir Roisterer. 
non obstante: notwithstanding. 

strangeness: acting like a stranger, pretending lack of acquaintance, 
whoa-bub: (or whoobub): hubbub, outer}', 
admitted in his first condition: i.e., as before he had refused to take the covenant, 

his stomach's come down: one whose "storhach was up" was proud, haughty. 
I am riveted: I am rooted to the spot, fastened here, 
a malignant: a name applied to Cavaliers and Royalists during the Cromwellian 

15 jointure: a settlement of land, tenements, etc. made to a woman in consideration 

of marriage, and in lieu of dower. 
41 the Devil Tavern: a London Inn situated nearly opposite the Church of St. 

Dunstan, in Fleet Street. The name arises from an old tale that here the 

good St. Dunstan seized the Evil One by the nose with a pair of pincers. 

Act rv, Scene 1 
90 2 one, two, three, and away: an old hunting call. 

7 contain: contain oneself, keep still. 
41 the gentle squire of low degree: The Sqityer of Lo Degree is a very old English 
poem, apparently popular at one time, since the phrase reappears rather 
often. The poem itself is reprinted in part in the Percy Folio, III, 269, See 
also Spenser's Faery Queene, Bk. IV, Canto 7, Stanza 15 ("Yet was he but 
a squire of law degree."); see also The Nut-Browne Maid, 2 Percy Reliques, 
28 ("Yet have you proved howe I have loved a squyer of low degree."). 

Act IV, Scene 2 
92 20 I have tried in vain to locate and identify the four Songs in this play (pages 92, 
94, and 95). The first and last are e\ddently merely popular songs, and 
as they do not appear in the original text they may ver>- likely have been 
of a later date. The other two songs ("Now the veil is pulled ofi'," and 
"Come, drawer, some wine") are strongly political, and are, of course, 
"malignant," or Royalist, productions. 

21 Patrick mass-night: I find no record of any such day, or night, or service; unless, 
indeed, it be the 17th of ^larch. 

29 Chester: a manufacturing city in Cheshire, England. 

33 Coventry: an ancient town in Warwickshire, England. This whole verse refers, 
of course, to the legend of Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, earl of Mercia, 
and her freeing her husband's oppressed tenantry from their heavy toUs 
by riding naked through the streets of Coventry. The husband had promised 
to remit the tolls when she should be brave enough to do this feat (meaning 
5 never), and when she took him at his word, and did what he asked, he kept 

his word. The story is first told by Matthew of Westminster, in 1307. In 
its earlier forms the episode or detail of Peeping Tom (see following note) 
does not appear. 

33 Peeping Tom: When Lady Godiva decided to take her famous ride, all the 
inhabitants of Coventry were directed to keep indoors, with the blinds 
drawn. All did so but one, Tom, a tailor, and his peeping (whence the name 
Peeping Tom, which has been his from that day to this) lost him his life. 


Page Line 

92 36 Old Snob : this was a cant name for a cobbler; as Tom is said to have been a tailor, 

I do not see how Old Snob applies here. 
38 a jack-a-lent: a simpleton. 

93 1 a wisp hung up: according to popular custom, a wisp of hay or straw was said to 

be the badge of the scolding woman (as in the game, Skimmington, &c.). 
2 your squib began to hiss: squib is used here figuratively, to mean a flashy, futile 
project or design. Freely interpreted, your plan didn't work out. 

5 trow: think, believe. 

21 sack: name applied during 17th Century to all strong white Southern wines, as 

distinguished from Rhenish and red wines. 
29 presently: here and elsewhere in the play, in its older sense, meaning at once, 


94 2 pawned for aU our scores: i.e., they would leave Obadiah as security for their 

bill at the tavern. 

6 bill of ammunition: a commission or warrant charging him with having hidden 

ammunition, etc. ♦ 

8 Newgate: the famous English prison, established 1218 in the New Gate of the 

City of London, and demolished in 1902. 
24 a malignant sonnet: a Cavalier or Royalist song. See notes to page 85, line 13, 
and page 92, line 20. 

96 13 Bryan Gaulichar: I have been unable to trace this. 

97 27 shortwinged worship into your mew: when falconry was popular (and since then, 

for that matter), hawks were (and have since been) divided into two general 
■iif classes: (a) falcons, or long-winged hawks, and (b) hawks proper, or short- 

winged hawks. The latter were used for smaller game, and were therefore 
of slightly less value and importance than the others. Hence the reference 
to Obadiah is a rather contemptuous one. The mew was the coop in which 
the hawks were kept when not in use. 

Act IV, Scene 3 
grannam: grandmother. 

schismatical (or schismatically) : set apart, separate. 

a natural tympany: a tympany was a species of dropsy in which the stomach 
was stretched tight, like a drum; here, of course, the expression refers to 
the condition of a woman who is enceinte. 
100 8 ferret him, or he'll never bolt: referring to the practise of hunting rabbits with 

ferrets. The ferret is put into the rabbit's burrow, and forces the rabbit to 
"bolt," or come out. 

9 basket hare: a hare carried to the hunting field in a basket, and then let out to 

be coursed. 

24 trapan: to inveigle, ensnare; modern trap. 

27 increase our whimsy: whimsy = whim, freakish or whimsical notion; here appar- 
ently referring to the way in which Careless and Blunt unconsciously played 
up to the girls' plan. ' 

37 Temple Bar: a historic site in London, at the junction of Fleet Street and the 
Strand, and near the Temple (see note to page 76, line 8). This spot marks 
the boundary between the city proper and Westminster, and it is here that 
the Lord Mayor of London presents the sovereign, entering in state, with 
the sword of the city. 

40 that nightingale: i.e., Obadiah. 
























1331 "THE COMMITTEE" 133 

slappish: given to slapping his coat-tails as he walked. 

Act V, Scene 1 
bonny-clabber: sour buttermilk, 
lough: a loch or lake, 
a quit way: a way out. 
stop over: should be step over? 
a sudden account: sudden in the sense of early, prompt. 

Act V, Scene 2 
no patience to expect: no patience to wait, 
honestly: virtuously, 
had so loud and fair a character: was so widely and well known. 

Act V, Scene 4 
111 5 dancer of the ropes: a tight-rope walker. 

Act V, Scene 7 

113 20 get the rising of the lights: originally a nautical phrase, meaning to draw near 

enough to harbor to begin to see the lights rise above the horizon. Here 
meaning, unless you wish to caU the courtship. over; i.e., unless you wish to 
be already nearly home, nearly through. 

114 20 intelligence: information, usually of the sort secured by espionage. 

29 I can answer a leaf farther: I know more still; I can recite the next page too. 

118 3 equal censures: equitable, or just, censures. 


PaktI — "The Committee": Editions^ 

Four New Plays, &c. (including The Committee) (London, 1665). 

Five New Plays, &c. (including The Committee) (London, 1692). 

The Committee (separate edition) (London, 1710). 

Dramatic Works, &c. (including The Committee) (London, 1722). 

The Committee (separate edition) (London, 1733). 

The Committee — in collections: 

The New English Theatre (London, 1776). 

Bell's British Theatre (London, 1776). 

The New English Theatre (London, 1799). 

Bell's British Theatre (London, 1791). 

Bell's British Theatre (London, 1797). 

Modern British Drama (London, 1811). 

Part II — General Bibliography 

* * * * 4 Companion to the Theatre, &c. Printed for J. Nourse. (London, 1747) vol. T. 
Addison, Joseph. The Spectator (Number 335, of March 25, 1712), ed. G. Gregory Smith 
and Austin Dobson, (Dent, London, 1898) vol. V. 

^ I have listed here all of the editions of which I could find any trace. As not all were 
available for purposes of collation, I have used the editions (as above) of 1665, 1710, 1776 
(New English Theatre), and 1797 (BeU). 


Allibone, S. Austin. Dictionary of Authors (Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1898) vol. I. 
Arber, Edwin ed., An English Garner (Button, New York, 1883) vol. VII (Critical 

Essays and Literary Fragments); see Collins, J. Churton, and Dryden, John. 
**** A Seasonable Argument to persuade all the Grand Juries in England to petition for a 

new Parliament (London, 1677), (pamphlet). 
Baker, David Erskine. Biographia Dramatica. ed. Stephen Jones. (London, 1812) 

vol. II. 
Beljame, Alexandre. Le Public et Les Hommes de Leltres en Angleterre au XVIII Siide 

(Second Edition, Libraire Hachette et Cie., Paris, 1897). 
Betterton, Thomas. The History of the English Stage from the Restoration to the Present 

Time, &c. (London, 1741). 

* * * * Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica, &c. (London, ^815). 

Bryant, Margaret, co-ed. with Minto, Wm. (q. v.) John Dryden, in Encyclopedia Britan- 
nica (Eleventh Edition, at the University Press, Cambridge, England, 1910) vol. 

Bullen, A. H. ed. Sir Robert Howard in Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Sidney Lee 
(Macmillan, New York, 1909) vol. X. 

* * * * Cambridge History of English Literature; see Schelling, Felix E,, and Ward, A. W. 

* * * * Chambers Cyclopedia of English Literature, ed. David Patrick (New Edition) 

(Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1910) vol. 1. 
Chetwood, W. R. A General History of the Stage (London, 1749). 
Christie, W. D., ed. The Poetical Works of John Dryden (Globe Edition, Macmillan, 

London, 1907). 
Cibber, Colley. Apology for His Life, ed. Robert W. Lowe (J. C. Nimnfb, London, 1889) 

vol. I. 
Cibber, Theophilus. The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (London, 1753) 

vol. III. 
Collins, J. Churton, ed. Critical Essays and Literary Fragments, in An English Garner, 

ed. Edwin Arber (q. v.) vol. VII. 
Cross, Arthur Lyon. A History of England and Greater Britain (MacmiUan, New York, 

Cunningham, Peter. Dryden's Quarrel with Flecknoe. Article in The Gentleman's Magazine, 

December, 1850 (London, 1850) vol. XXXIV. 
Davies, Thomas. Dramatic Miscellanies (London, 1785). 

* * * * Dictionary of National Biography; see Bullen, A. H. 

Downes, John. Roscius Anglicanus, &c., ed. F. G. Waldron (with notes by ed. and by 
Thomas Davies, London, 1789). 

Dryden, John. For Reprints of Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy and of all other docu- 
ments relating to the Dryden Howard controversy over dramatic verse, see Edwin 
Arber's An English Garner, vol. VII (Critical Essays and Literary Fragments, ed. 
J. Churton CoUins) ; see Arber and Collins, above. 

Dryden, John, see also Christie, W. D., ed. 
Malone, Edmond, ed. 
Scott, Sir Walter, ed. 

Egerton, T. & J. Theatrical Remembrancer (London, 1788). 

Ellis, George. Specimens of the Early English Poets, &c. (London, 1803) vol. III. 

* * * * Encyclopedia Brilannica; see Bryant, Margaret, and Minto, Wm. 

Evelyn, John. The Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn, ed. William Bray (Henry G. 
Bohn, London, 1859) vols. I & II. 

135] "THE COMMITTEE" 135 

Firth, C. H. The Last Years of the Protectorate, 1656-1658 (Longmans, Green; London, 

1909) vols. I & II. 
Flecknoe, R. A Letter from a Gentleman to the Honorable Ed. Howard, Esq., &c. In the 

Savoy, (Printed by Thomas Newcomb, 1668). 
Forster, John. The Life of Jonathan Swift (John Murray, London, 1875) vol. I. 
Foster, Joseph. Alumni Oxonienses (Early Series) (Oxford, 1891) vol. II. 
Geneste, W. Some Account of the English Stage from the Restoration in 1660 to 1830 

(Bath, 1832) vols. I, II, & III. 
Hallam, Henry. Introduction to tlie Literature of Europe, &c. (Second Edition) (John 

Murray, London, 1843) vol. III. 
Halliwell (-Phillips), James O. A Dictionary of Old English Plays (Pickering & Chatto, 

London, 1892). 
Howard, Charles. Historical Anecdotes of some of the Howard Family (W. Clarke^ London, 

Howard, Sir Robert. The Committee, see part i. 

Howard, Sir Robert. The Duel of the Stags, &c. (In the Savoy, London, 1709). 
Howard, Sir Robert. The Great Favorite, or, The Duke of Lerma (In the Savoy, London, 

Howard, Sir Robert, Poems, &c. (London, 1660). 
Jacob, Giles. The Political Register, &c. (London, 1719) vol. I. 
Johnson, Samuel. Lives of the English Poets, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (Clarendon Press, 

Oxford, 1905) vol. I. 
Knight, Thomas. The Honest Thieves, in The London Stage (London, 1827) vol. I. 
Langbaine, Gerard. An Account of the English Dramatic Poets (Oxford, 1691). 
Lowe, Robert W. Thomas Betterton (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London, 

Luttrell, Narcissus. A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs, from September 1678 to 

April 1714 (Oxford, at the University Press, 1857) vols. I, II, III, & IV. 
Macaulay, Thomas Babington. History of England (Connoisseur Edition, with In- 
troduction by Edward P. Cheyney) University Library Assn., (Philadelphia, 1898) 

vols. I, III, & VI. 
Malone, Edmond, ed. The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden, &c. 

(London, 1800), vol. I, pt. I. 
Mmto, Wm., ed. Sir Robert Howard in Encyclopedia Britannica (Uth Edition, at the 

University Press, Cambridge, England, 1910), vol. XIII. 
Minto, Wm., co-ed. with Bryant, Margaret. John Dryden in Encyclopedia Britannica 

(11th Edition, at the University Press, Cambridge, England, 1910) vol. VHI. 
Montague, F. C. The Political History of England, 1603-1660, in Series, The Political 

History of England, ed. Wm. Hunt & Reginald L. Poole (Longmans, Green; London, 

1911) vol. VII. 
Morley, John, ed. English Men of Letters, see Saintsbury, George. 
Nettleton, George Henry, English Drama of the Restoration and 18th Century (Macmillan, 

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Barrington (the actor), 39 
Barry, Mrs. (the actress), 39 
Behn, Mrs. Aphra, 41 

The Roundheads, 41 
Bracegirdle, Mrs. (the actress), 39 
Buckhurst, Lord, 19, 36 
Buckingham, George Villiers, Duke of, 13, 
14, 19 

The Rehearsal, 13, 16,44 
Butler, Samuel, 41 

Hudibras, 41 
Chapman, George, 41 

An Humorous Day's Mirth, 41 
Castlemaine, Lady, 37 
Cecil, Elizabeth, 9 
Cecil, William, Lord Burghley, 9 
Charles I, 9 

Charles II, 10, 27, 37, 44 
Cheats, The (John Wilson), 45 
Cibber, Colley, 39 

Cibber, Theophilus, 10, 13, 14, 16, 19, 45 
Crowne, John, 41 

City Politics, 41 
Davenant, Sir William, 13 
Dives, Mrs. Annabelle, 11, 12 
Dryden, John, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 

A Defense of an Essay of Dramatic Poetry, 
29, 35, 36 

Aureng-zehe, 26 

Conquest of Granada, The, 26 

Essay of Dramatic Poetry, 33, 34, 35, 36, 

Indian Emperor, The, 26, 27, 35, 37 

Rival Ladies, The, 32, 34, 36 

Secret Love, 34 

Wild Gallant, Tfie, 37 
Dunciad, The, 16 

Evelyn, John, 10, 15, 27, 28, 39, 45 
Farquhar, George, 43 

The Beaux' Stratagem, 43 

The Twin Rivals, 43 
Flecknoe, Richard, 37 
Hart, Charles (the actor), 29 
Herringman (the publisher), 17, 22 
Howard, Edward, 9, 16 

^This Index refers to the IntroductioQ only. 

Howard, Lady Elizabeth, 17, 34 
Howard, James, 9 
Howard, Sir Robert, passim 

The Committee, 22, 26, 31, 38, 40, 41, 42. 

Teagiie, 37, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45 

A Panegyrick to the King, 17, 18, 19 

Songs &• Sonnets, 17 

The Blind Lady, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31 

St alius his Achilleis, 17, 18 

A Panegyrick to Generall Monck, 17 

Duel of the Stags, 19 

Fear of Death, 19 

The Great Favorite, or The Duke of Lertna, 
22, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 35, 36, 45 

The Surprisal, 22, 23, 24, 31 

The Indian Queen, 22, 26, 27, 28, 31 

The Vestal Virgin, or The Roman Ladies, 
22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 

The Conquest of China, 28 

Four New Plays, 22, 32, 39 

Five New Plays, 22 
Howard, Thomas, 9 
Inglefield, Sir Francis, 12 
James II, 43 

John, Earl of Marlborough, 11 
Jonson, Ben, 41 

The Alchemist, 41 

Bartholomew Fair, 41 
Kingsmill, Ann, 12 
Kingsmill, Sir Richard, 12 
Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 10 
Knight, Thomas, 39 

The Honesl Thieves, 39 
Lacy, John (the actor), 39, 41, 44, 45 

The Old Troop, 41 
Leigh, Mrs, (the actress), 39 
Miller, Joseph (the actor), 39 
Middleton, Thomas, 41 

The Family of Love, 41 

A Mad World, 41 
Moody, John (the actor), 39, 44, 45 
Oates, Titus, 11 
O'Brien, Lady Honora, 12 
Parsons, William (the actor), 45 
Penn, Sir William, 10 




Pepys, Samuel, 10, 13, 14, 22, 27, 28, 31, 36, 

Pope, Miss (the actress), 39 
Puritan, The, 41 
Radcliffe, Captain, 37 

News from Hell, 37 
Rock (the actor), 45 
Sacheverell, Henry, 11 
Scott, Sir Walter, 16, 19, 26, 27, 34, 35, 45 
Session of the Poets, A, 37 
ShadweU, Thomas, 13, 14, 15, 34, 35, 43 

The Sullen Lovers, 13, 22, 35 

The Curious Impertinents, 13 

The Medal of John Bayes, 34 

The Lancashire Witches, 43 

The Amorous Bigot, 43 
Shakespeare, William, 41 

Twelfth Night, 41 
Suckling, Sir John, 25 

Aglaura, 25 
Thomond, the Earl of, 12 
Uphill, Mrs. (the actress), 12, 14, 19 
The Variety (Richard GrifiSth), 45 
Verrio, Antonio, 10 
Walker, Obadiah, 43 
Wilkes, Robert (the actor), 39 
Wilmot, Lord, 9 

Wofl&ngton, Mrs. (the actress), 39 
York, the Duke of, 14 










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